so, on this album, zazie and the gang decide to go all out gay dance club disco pop. i feel like wrapping a pink feather boa around my shoulders and dancing down the street in a pair of white nylon zip-up boots (yeah, i've thought quite a bit about this, obviously). it's very hard to take ＳＯＤＯＭ serious at this point, yet the band seems to be entirely serious. which is what is so fantastic about this, i suppose; they're not being ironic. like, not even a little bit. they most certainly want you to get into the groove, and feel the acid. which is wonderful, i guess. i mean, good for them that they want to have fun.
it's good for us, too, because this is a really fantastic album. if you enjoyed their album KING OV HOUSE (which is my favorite LP from them, though my favorite EP shall always be the dramatically different BEYOND) then you will like this. this is very much like their EP MATERIAL FLOWER, as well. though, here they have completely cut all of their ties to post-punk. and really, they shouldn't be remembered as a post-punk band (and certainly not a hardcore band, as they only had two hardcore LPs), as most of their output was this silly/sincere dance music. and i love them for it.
my favorite track on this album is probably the second track, "Slave To The Body". zazie's vocal delivery on this album is so delightful. he's completely given up his weird growling/moaning vocals here, which is fine, because he's a completely competent singer.
a second favorite would have to be the second to last track, "Dream..., Illusion...". the synth line (mimicking a flute of some sort) on this track is absolutely delightful. and, once again, zazie's voice sends shivers down my spine. so, maybe his voice isn't traditionally beautiful, but something about it really does make my hair stand on end. honestly, i think i'm rather glad that i don't know what he's singing about, because that could very well spoil it.
anyways, check this out if you want a really slow paced but completely catchy and still very strange pop album. i think ＳＯＤＯＭ may have finally become my favorite band. i can't get enough.
1. Skin Deep
2. Slave To The Body
3. It's Paradise
4. Morning Light
5. Dancing In The Moon
6. Orange Sunshine
7. Dream..., Illusion...
8. Double Side, Double Meaning
MENSTRUATION is a 1993 noisy post-punk/no wave album by the mysterious (me being lazy: i don't know anything about the band) band MENSU. it is my assumption that the band is probably all female. maybe i'm wrong, but with this sound it just seems likely. anyways, the vocalist bark and breaths and moans sexually. basically she's either trying to seduce the listener or mimic a macaw the entire album; it's really incredible. some of my favorite vocals that i've encountered in a while. really crazy stuff here. another thing is that the vocals seem to be barked over a megaphone or something, because they're muted and they have a mechanical distortion sound to them.
it also has a light no wave influence. once or twice on the album you can hear jazzy guitar or piano. the whole thing kinda reminds me of Non Band if Non Band wasn't so painfully kawaii.
most certainly grab this if you like really angry/sexy girly punk.
1. MY FUNNY CHRISTMAS
Prayer Rehearsal is a very murky black metal album by Durazis. this album is a celebration of destruction and satanic ritual. rough grumbling black noise straight from the darkest pits of blackest hell. this album could curdle any christian blood.
1. Our Father
2. Durazis Prayer
3. Tongue of Alagarda
4. Across The Neptune Horizon
El Dorado was, as far as i know, ＡＬＬＥＲＧＹ's only studio album. it's brilliant. i still prefer their live album that was recorded at the Shinjuku Loft, but that's simply because of the energy. that album remains my favorite live album ever recorded. this is just really great source material, i suppose. and it's awesome to hear how they sound here, and then compare it to the live album; they perform better live. i always wonder how that comes to be; does the producer force them into a different sound (like with the very well known case of Joy Division, where their producer wanted them to have a much more mellow and less punk sound for their album). regardless, i don't care too much in the long run, as this is still a perfect album. any fans of the live album should enjoy this, without a doubt.
1. Poker Face City
3. Burning Angel
4. El Dorado
6. Our Time
7. Tokyo Frustration
8. Double Think
10. Plastic Toy
i don't even know where to start with this album by 丸尾丸子. it's a lovely, sad little piece of pop music, with accordions, toy pianos, flutes, and harps creating a childlike yet ethereal sound. this is somehow a combination of the lovely pop-folk and jazz sounds of ゑでぃまぁこん combined with the surreal cell-phone music of Sasaki San.
this album is a lovely/surreal journey into another world. download this now.
ＲＥＡＬ were a self-published (starting after this EP) post-punk band. they put out quite a few EPs, beginning with 1981's REAL, but they didn't put out a full length until 1991. i haven't heard it, so i can't judge it's worth, but all of their EPs up to that point were sublime. this first one is no exception. it's a banging and growling monster with harsh feedback, rolling piano, and grunted vocals. it's also absolutely stunning to listen to.
most certainly check this out if you liked ＡＬＬＥＲＧＹ.
here is the album FOLK MUSIC by ex-White Hospital member Jun Konagaya. this music is what White Hospital would have sounded like if they had taken a stronger power electronics approach. although, actually, this is more like what S·CORE might sound like if there were barked vocals performed over it.
there are, however, moments of stark beauty on tracks such as "Heil" and "Grove". they are completely lovely, and the contrast is really interesting.
download this now if you like power electronics and ambient like S·CORE and État Brût (or, if you just liked White Hospital).
2. Frozen Limit
3. Bremen 1
6. Alps Noel
7. Bremen 2
11. Nobel Folk
by request, here's Macronympha's Relentless Agony. this tape is really fantastic. this is one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite noise musicians (my second favorite after 非常階段). the sound he presents here is absolutely terrifying. it rends me in two, and completely rapes me. i can't get enough.
my favorite track on this album is probably "Methane Gas Trigger". the light rhythm going on here is delightfully catchy, until it fades back out again and then my head is split down the middle. this is one of my favorite noise tracks, period.
1. Headache Remedy
2. Rock Slide 1
3. Rock Slide 2
4. The Hatred Of Love
5. Methane Gas Trigger
6. Coal-Mine Structure Collapse
7. Hurricane Warning
8. Tainted Woman
this is the live album by post-punk band ＡＬＬＥＲＧＹ (or is it アレルギー? impossible to say, considering they used both. i'll stick with the unicode spelling). it was released by Teichiku Entertainment, which also put out music by Pizzicato Five, Urban Dance, Shi-Shonen, コシミハル, ゲルニカ, 細野晴臣, and plenty of other new-wave and related bands. they also did the japanese releasing for some mediocre western bands, but we'll forget about that for now.
i present you their live album because it is superior to the studio album that i have. in energy and performance, sure, but also in song choices. for example, the live album doesn't have their brilliant "『 』 (かたち)" which i can't. stop. fucking. listening. to. jeeeeesus christ.
this reminds me a bit of ＳＯＤＯＭ's hardcore era, but only in delivery. i guess it really doesn't sound too much like them, though. it sounds more like すきすきスウィッチ, actually. or maybe OFF MASK 00. either way, the music is very frantic and the vocalist is absolutely manic in his delivery. it's one of the best live albums that i have ever heard. if i had the option, i would sell my soul to have been at Shinjuku Loft on the 27th of october in 1984. what a fantastic show that would have been.
download this now or regret it forever.
2. Plastic Toy
4. Our Time
6. 二重思考 (ダブルシンク)
10. 『 』 (かたち)
12. Cosmic Ray
13. 20th Century Boy
16. Monkey Drive
here is, as far as i'm concerned, ＳＯＤＯＭ's greatest achievement: BEYOND. it is the only time (as far as i know) that ＳＯＤＯＭ performed such luscious post-punk. sure, they did post-punk on TV MURDER, but that was an entirely different beast. although i love every single album/EP/single that ＳＯＤＯＭ put out, this is easily my favorite. few post-punk singles even come close, as far as i'm concerned, to the grandness of "Castle In The Air" and the title track.
on the title track, "Beyond...", the sound is just so . . . indescribable. it is exotic and lofty; heavenly, in a word. not terribly threatening, but with this single/EP/whatever they really didn't try to be loud or aggressive. with this song they achieved a beauty that i have rarely heard anywhere else. it sends shivers down my spine.
the b-side, "Castle In The Air", is almost as powerful as the title track. i can't get over the percussion on this track. it's so catchy, so perfect.
while i loved what they did after this single, i feel it was a mistake for them to move on so soon to . . . whatever it is they were doing on King Ov House.
(credit goes to elias for sharing this with me.)
2. Castle In The Air
VASSER... is one of my all time favorite albums from the visual-kei scene. it is also one of the first to get me into the entire scene. the music that DAS:VASSER makes here is absolutely filled with emotion and violent intent. the vocalist stumbles about, the guitars whine and crackle, groan and hiss. and yet it's so pure; when the vocalist stutters or when his voice cracks it just feels so genuine. it is perfectly imperfect.
this is quite a bit different from previous VK albums i've posted; it's much more accessible, and yet it's still completely crushing as a final product. most certainly check this out.
3. Cutting Extacy
5. attempt suicide (ノンフィクションヴァージョン)
so, at long last, here's another album by the always changing ＺＥＬＤＡ. these ladies started out as post-punk in the early 1980s with that first album i posted last year, but by the mid-1990s they had taken on inspirations from american pop and "r&b" (see: not really r&b, but just soul inspired pop sung by black men and women. the popular media called it "r&b" because they are racist. shit, they still call Rihanna, Beyoncé, Usher, and other black pop singers "r&b" even today. anyways, pop trivia as cultural criticism, etc, i'll shut up now). also, they wanted to be jamaican, i think. they didn't sound like reggae or dancehall or anything like that (they sound more like Bow Wow Wow, actually), but with this album and another album of theirs from the 1990s they used a heavy jamaican aesthetic. hell, on the cover of their album ラヴ・リヴ・ライフ they even replaced the four asian girls with three jamaican girls (the remix of that album also had four jamaican faces instead of four asian faces). on the cover of this album they're even pushing it a bit close to black-face . . . or maybe they just got really heavy tans for the cover? anyways, i'm not saying they're racist. maybe just a bit naive. either way, they really seem to be into it, because the record that they wrote while under the influence of rastafarianism (i jest) is absolutely fantastic. one of their better albums.
there's probably something weird and esoteric going on here, considering the title of the album (the only thing i can think of is "pūjā" (पूजा) in hinduism, which is a ritual performed to honor a specific god. the one particular "full moon pūjā" that i can think of is the puja for the goddess Durgā , which of course is performed on a full moon . . . ), the seal of david above the title, and the ankh on the one girl's hat. i wish i could understand japanese well enough to know what Sachiko is singing about. if anyone could tell me i'd be more than grateful.
there's a really comical exchange during the ninth track where Sachiko talks about how she just left japan yesterday and how she loves jamaica. this jamaican dude goes on about "sachiko, girl, i miss you, stay in jamaica, don't go back to japan, mon" and then Sachiko sings about how much she misses jamaica, etc, etc, etc. if they went on a big tour in jamaica i am unaware of it.
anyways, this is some really great stuff. download it ASAP.