For a long time, this record was a Japanese psych holy grail, originally a super limited double lp, later a double cd, originally released to commemorate the closing of a club in Tokyo called Oz, where presumably all of these bands were recorded. The main reason this was such a sought after artifact is no doubt the presence of not one, but TWO all time Japanese psychedelic legends, Les Rallizes Denudes and Taj Mahal Travelers. In fact those of is who did manage to track down a copy, never even really listened to the first disc, since the second disc was so goddamn good. And odds are, most aQ Japanese psych obsessives stopped reading about two sentences ago and lunged for the 'add to cart' button. Cuz while this is/was quite a rarity, we just discovered a source for a bunch of copies, incredibly cheap too, and snapped 'em up, cuz we figured that there were enough folks out there like us, who would definitely be keen on more from either/both TMT and Les Rallizes.
Juts in case you actually need to know what it sounds like (as if you couldn't guess), Les Rallizes offer up their usual dose of super distorted psychedelic blues, opening with a droned out guitar thing, before slipping into a surprisingly pretty and folky, and distortion free bit of strum and croon, might be a big surprise for Les Rallizes fans out there, in fact it almost sounds like a Japanese Grateful Dead, until about the last minute, when the guitars come out, offering up a surprisingly, sweetly distorted lead. The second track too, opens up with a wild squall of distorted guitar, only to slip right back into mesmerizing bit of dirgey folky drone rock, this time sounding more like the Velvets, with some seriously emotional wailed vox and more sweet psychedelic leads. And then finally, the appropriately titled "The Last One", find the band returning to much noisier distorted realms, thick wandering basslines, super distorted guitar crunch, pounding drums, an explosive intro, and while the rest of the song dials it back again, it's awesomely dirgey and droney, laced with lots of tangled guitars and swaths of distortion.
Taj Mahal Travelers do what they do best, unfurling a long minimal dronescape, all sawed violin, distant chanted vocals, swirling muted melodies, wheezing harmonicas, all blurred into lush sonic swells, Kosugi's violin driving the sound here, but with all the other various instruments contributing their own more subtle elements, a hazy, drifty, tripped out bit of druggy psychedelic drift that is perfectly divine.
Like we said before, worth it just for the second disc, but heck, there's a whole other disc, which we actually never dug into until NOW. Up first is Miyako Ochi, who are a sort of Group Sounds, Beatles worshiping rock band, all British style rhythm and blues, the songs could very well be covers, one sounds exactly like "Twist And Shout", then there's Minami Masato, who are a lot like Miyako Ochi, at least with their Beatles-esque opener, but after that, the sound shifts to a more contemplative folk music, again looking to the UK and the US for inspiration, subtle simple strummed acoustic guitar and woozy croon, again quite cool, but a strange mix to be paired up with Les Rallizes and TMT. But then there's Acid Seven, who we were already hoping would be a bit more bad ass based on the name alone, and while they are ANOTHER band that is doing that Group Sounds sound, they manage to inject it with some grit and swagger, shouted gang vocals, super distorted production, wild psychedelic leads, and a vocalist who has a pretty bad ass raspy bellow. The following track is a strange sort of jaunty sing along, with some rad slippery slide guitar and there's even a KAZOO SOLO! Finally, they finish things up with a bit of brooding dark folk, urgently strummed acoustic guitar, and some heartfelt almost anguished sounding vocalizing, surprisingly pretty, especially considering the wild biker rock bellowing that preceded it.
All in all pretty great. Japanese psych obsessives NEED this, and heck for $12, dabblers can definitely afford to give it a chance. But don't dawdle, pretty sure we got every copy our distributor had, so not sure when/if we'll be able to get more. Packaged in a slim sleeve with brown paper wrapper, duplicating the presentation of the original lp. (aquariusrecords)