Sunday, April 2, 2017

Melting Glass Box - 1971 - Meltin Glass Box

Melting Glass Box 
Meltin Glass Box 

01. あんまり深すぎて 5:22
02. 何がなんだかわからない時 5:56
03 君はだれなんだ 2:57
04. まるで君と同じのっぺら坊で 3:59
05. ボクの右手の二本の指 1:42
06. マイケルの髪 5:41
07. 小さな花が道ばたに・・・ 3:41
08. さっき君が 2:44

Vocals, Guitar– 西岡たかし (Takashi Nishioka)
Bass – さえきまさし (Masashi Oki)
Drums, Flute – 木田高介 (Takaaki Kida)
Guitar – 加藤和彦 (Kazuhiko Kato)
Lead Guitar – 竹田和夫 (Kazuo Takeda)
Orchestra – Sun Orchestra
Vocals – 斉藤哲夫 (Tetsuo Saito)

Recorded September 26, 27, 29, 30 1970 at Aoi Studio.

The Jacks' drummer Kida Takasuke became, after he left the Jacks, involved in one of Japan’s legendary acid folk recordings, being the “Tokedashita Garasu Hako” (溶け出したガラス箱/ Melting Glass Box) which was released in 1970 on URC Records. The main player and concept mastermind originator of this venture was Nishioka Takashi (西岡たかし) who was initially not a musician but a man who provided artists with conceptual ideas. For this effort however, he sat behind the wheels of creation himself.
The album turned out to be one of URC’s uncrowned acid folk and psychedelic rock products that embraced a surrealistic sound, which Nishioka himself referred to as being almost Dadaistic in nature. Next to him the other main participants in the creation of this album were Kida Takasuke and folk singer Saito Tetsuo (斉藤哲夫). The three of them formed the main forces of the Tokedashita Garasu Hako unit and called in, during the recording of their sonic master plan, the help of some friends to assist them such a............ guitarist Kato Kazuhiko(加藤和彦), Apryl Fool and Happy End key figure Hosono Haruomi (細野春臣), Blues Creation guitar mangler Takeda Kazuo (竹田知夫) and bassist Saeki Masashi (佐伯正志), perfuming the overall atmosphere of the recording session with the scents of avant-garde and experimental components............

A really great example of original creative songwriting and music on the interesting, early URC label, that was launched after a first folk boom influence from America, this meant the exploration of an original new Japanese identity and sound. Tokedashita Garasu Baku was a super group that featured many members that came from early psych bands. It was led by Takashi Nishioka (vocals,guitar,percussion, words and music), a singer who was part of the early acid/psychfolk band Itsutsu no Akai Fusen in the 60s. After this he would become an important singer-songwriter with a solo career. The band also featured members from Happy End/Apryl Fool/ Yellow Magic Orchestra (the bass player), Jacks (the drummer, flutist, arranger), Blues Creation (the guitarist,the bassist and the keyboard player), Folk Crusaders (guitarist ; -he later will be part of the Sadistic Mika Band-), all early psych bands, besides folk singer Saito Tetsuo. Like in Itsutsu no Akai Fusen and Folk Crusaders there has been some interesting subtle fusing experiments between Japanese folk and psych music, like on the opener or on the fifth track, or some garage pop psych influence like with Jacks, like on the third track. Mostly we hear sad ballads in a specific song style with effects of droning organ, stoned acoustic guitars and subtle stoned overdubs on voice (on the fourth track), fuzz guitars, attractive rhythms and a few subtle folky arrangements, and improvised flute, and here and there a weird electronic keyboard effect. The fourth track has some violin orchestration, especially the last song is fully orchestrated besides simple acoustic guitar. The album has a really attractive sound and shows really subtle the early avant-garde experiments of mixing various influences together even when the pop ballads still lead the music.