Monday, January 9, 2017

Azabu Ongaku Shudan - 1971 - Azabu Ongaku Shudan

Azabu Ongaku Shudan 
1971
Azabu Ongaku Shudan




01. Suggestion
02. いそしぎ
03. 花
04. Unga Sunga Tsunga
05. コオカ
06. Liberation
07. 朝もやの中を公園へ
08. 耐震構造
09. Deep River
10. Igor's acension
11. Straight no chaser
12. A day in my life
13. Stillness
14. Hey Blues
15. Make Love
16. Postiudo




Here's a very rare album from the Azabu section of Tokyo that appears to have been just discovered. The first track is heavily influenced by 1968 era Chicago Transit Authority, which is a really good thing in my book. Then there's some random messing about in the studio, with some chamber/classical bits, and in comes a guitar freakout - and once again Terry Kath leaped straight to mind. What is this anyway? Off to the AC's notes I went...

"Things get underway with a blast of driving brass rock-esque jazzy psych, before some spacey classical flute leads into a weird piano and percussion motif that repeats over and over, starting again just as you think it's finally done. You can tell that they're just trying to mess with your mind at this point. Soft acoustic folk-psych follows, but is disrupted by a noisy outburst and radio speech that is swallowed up in ominous avant-garde piano dissonance. A brief flute interlude precedes a headlong dive into wild garage psych, morphing into a full-on psychedelic jam with organ and absolutely insane fuzz guitar soloing. Quietly, a rising chorus of birdsongs emerges, backing a return to the gentle acoustic folk guitar and flute heard previously. But then, a strange surge of fluttering electronics heralds a chaotic collage of Japanese phone conversation, backed by a sinister electronic dirge. Clattering percussion rises from this seething mass, heralding an onslaught of pounding rhythms, droning horns and destructive psych guitar, with wisps of strange noise and moaning in the raging storm. Abruptly, the haunting acoustic folk psych and flute cut in, ending the chaos in a moment of zen. This is a truly harrowing piece of music, encapsulating the bad acid freakout visions you're glad you never had. Unfortunately, side two can't keep up this kind of all-out delirium, and the group's roots as a large-scale amateur music collective come to the fore, with some strange and inept jazz and folk songs, rambling detuned jazz bass and piano, and even a lengthy late night jazz club jam session. However, a few moments of interest are still lurking within. A couple of somewhat experimental classical piano and flute pieces, and a very Third Ear Band-esque number with percussion, flute and droning strings are the highlights, and the album closes with one final brass rock/orchestral blast with bleeping electronics to come full circle. Privately pressed in micro quantities and still only known to a few hardcore Japanese collectors, this album, while by no means a consistent masterpiece, is still an essential snapshot of authentic psychedelic freakout on the outer fringes of the era's underground scene."

This is one of those albums that really strikes a chord because of the time and place. Truly a group stretching the boundaries of what was known - very much a product of 1971, an era when this mentality was the norm rather than the exception. The highs go really high here, and so the corresponding down time is more tolerable. Because there's some serious payoff action to witness. Always a hallmark of an album worth repeated listens.

7 comments:

  1. http://www.filefactory.com/file/3a752suqfvd1/4491.rar

    ReplyDelete
  2. "heavily influenced" The first track is an exact rip off of "It Better End Soon".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Track 6 is actually from the CTA album, a cover if it was credited, a rip off if not. Nice album tho'.

    ReplyDelete
  4. do you have:

    Slave - The lover, the madman, and the poet
    Jane Leichhardt ‎– A Woman Like Me

    ReplyDelete
  5. hello master, is there a problem with the link? it gives me error when I try to open it

    ReplyDelete
  6. This blog is astonishing.

    I have a request. I have been trying to find this album for my lifetime.

    Masa Matsuda / Yuji Ohno - Silent Dialogue (1979).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey 'Unknown'...Here is the Matsuda/Ohno joint:

    http://progressreview.blogspot.com/2016/12/masa-matsuda-and-yuji-ohno-collaborate.html

    ReplyDelete