Sunday, May 31, 2015

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band - 1972 - Uganda

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band

01. 動物達と夜明け [Wanyama Na Mapambazuko]
02. 求愛 [Na Tu Penda Sana]
03. 戦い [Vita]
04. ピグミー [Pigmy]

Ishikawa Akira:  drums, percussion
Kimio Mizutani:  electric guitar
Larry Sunaga:  percussion
Chihara Hideaki (=Takebe Hideaki, from Adams): bass.

Akira Ishikawa had a mission. He wanted to find the eternal now of rhythm. After a mind-blowing trip to Africa in 1970, the Japanese percussionist had a goal — true Afro-delic Acid Rock. He hooked up with composer Muroaka Takeru and this album was born in 1971. Awash in minimalist percussion — at times sounding like a field recording of a commune or some street performers — the album devolves into primitive heavy acid rock and throbbing seriousness. Ishikawa's intense personal vision and mission is no record-collector curiosity. This beauty deserves our attention.
Long known to collectors of bizarre Japanese psychedelic/heavy rock (see Cope, Julian), Uganda became something of a mystery and a holy grail. The album screams, too. It stumbles into that same primal early rock, excuse me, RAWK place that bands like Leaf Hound, The Edgar Broughton Band, and Australia's Buffalo ended up. In fact, this record comes off like a recording of the jam sessions that led to the riffs and beats of the James Gang's "Funk #49" but without all that familiarity from FM radio. Famed guitarist Mizutani Kimio trades monster licks with rambling percussion, an impressive drum kit (Ishikawa) and lots of moaning and throb.
The opening cut "Wanyamana Mapambazuko" will attract the most attention. It's utter heaviness will recall the stomping feet of Flower Travelling Band's Satori or even the Groundhogs' monstrous Split. The layers of percussion unsettle and make the walls wiggle. They evoke the sound of long dead gods in old amplifiers and fingers rubbing on hide
If you like wah, this record will blow you away. Kimio Mizutani is essentially Japan's version of early 70s Peter Green, but without any of the subtlety. I can see so many similarities. Both this album and Peter Green's 1970 record have the two most consistent and heaviest tracks as the opening and closing tracks, while the the inner tracks have a few great moments buried in long, guitar-less percussion jams (which reminds me, the last minute of "Na Tu Penda Sana" has some absolutely psychotic fuzz noise after warming you up with 8 minutes of tribal drumming). Both have a really strong bass player with a nice and thick fuzz tone. And although this last part is only a superficial similarity, Peter Green did coincidentally release "Uganda Woman" in the same year. So the problem is basically the same as Green's solo debut (not enough guitar), other than that it's a brilliant record. Actually, I do have to admit that Vita is a bit disappointing.

And just like Peter Green in 1970, Kimio appeared on at least four 1971 albums with some similarly brilliant heavy guitar work. I honestly can't understand why the hell Shinki gets all the hype.



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