The Taj Mahal Travellers - Sound Picnic At Kuwanichika

This is right at the end of their travels.

Recorded live at Kuwanichika, Meguro, Tokyo on Sunday, October 16, 1977 and released as an unofficial double CDr in Japan in 2013.




Taj Mahal Travellers - Live In Stockholm 1971

Taj Mahal Travellers were Kinji Hayashi, Michihiro Kimura, Ryo Koike, Seiji Nagai, Takehisa Kosugi, Tokio Hasegawa and Yukio Tsuchiya.

Throughout their existence they created a startling improvised equivalent of the German Kosmische. However, this isn't krautrock. This is the Taj Mahal Travellers. They regularly toured throughout Japan and first ventured into northern Europe in 1971. Not long after these recordings, and entirely through serendipity, they found themselves in India stood in front of the Taj Mahal. That was in 1972. Given that I am a nerd/pedant exemplar ... did they actually call themselves The Taj Mahal Travellers in 1971?

Obviously, none of that matters very much. What matters is this recording made at the "Utopia & Visions 1871-1981" exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In 1971.




East Bionic Symphonia - Recorded Live

East Bionic Symphonia existed at one place in time. They studied the work of Takehisa Kosugi who released seminal work under his own name and as part of Group Ongaku, Taj-Mahal Travellers, Transition and Yamash'ta & The Horizon.

They studied hard and released this LP on ALM Records as their graduation project in 1976.

Sit down and applaud Chie Mukai, Hiroshi Shii, Kaoru Okabe, Kazuaki Hamada, Kazuo Imai, Masaharu Minegishi, Masami Tada, Tatuo Hattori, Tomonao Koshikawa and Yasushi Ozawa.

Recorded Live


Brush!? - Brush!?

Brush!? were Shime Takahashi and Akira Asami (two thirds of Lost Aaraaff ... the same Akira from Gyaatees perhaps?) and Masayoshi Takanaka. It starts off with cinema organ music that can't stop me thinking of the intermission and ending music of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and becomes more curious from there. It's almost as though it can't make it's mind up what it is. This was originally released as an LP in 1971 on an unknown label. Maybe after the refusal to accept the Group Sounds orthodoxy, they fell on the polite side of the divide before going on to create much more adventurous music. The musical styles switch all over the place and this won't last too long in the memory but it still needs to be heard. But maybe only once ...



Karuna Khyal - Alomoni 1985

This is the (slightly more) psychotic sibling of Debon. Beefheartian swamp-delta psychedelic blues for the criminally insane ... it's the work of a genius and/or the plural thereof. I'm not sure what is the more astonishing ... this record or the fact that it was 24 years before it saw the light of day again. The LP was released on Voice Records in 1974 and it disappeared until Clive had the common decency to let us hear it again by unofficially re-releasing it on Paradigm Discs in 1998. If I'm ever lucky enough to meet Clive I'm going to have to kiss him. Fair warning, there might be tongues.

I posted this nearly four years ago. Frankly, I find that fairly scary ... does anybody know where time actually goes? Anyway, it's appropriate that this nestles next to Debon.

Alomoni 1985


Brast Burn - Debon

Who the hell were Brast Burn? If somebody knows, I've not met them. They appear to have some kind of relationship with Karuna Khyal but nobody knows who they were either. Both appear to have some kind of connection with Yoshihiro Takahashi who has recently appered as a producer on a few releases on Kaitai Records. What I do know is that they only released one LP and damn they left on top. This is a hallucinatory fever dream of an album ... Can as heard in the fifth dimension? Demonic folk music? I seriously can't think of any meaningful comparisons to this record. It really is a remarkable thing to experience. Originally released on Japan's little known Voice Records in 1975, it disappeared from view until Clive Graham resurrected it on his Paradigm Discs in 1998 and we should all be eternally grateful!

Burn Baby Burn


Gyaatees - 1

Thirty three and a half minutes of improvised and twisted delight formally introduced Gyaatees to the world.

Another Captain Trip release, this time from 1997.



Gyaatees Meets Mani Neumeier - Gyaatees II

Mani Neumeier is probably best known as one of the founder members of the legendary Guru Guru and his collaborations with Acid Mothers Temple. Here he adds a structure to proceedings ... the fact that it is a motorik structure makes it all the better.

Double CD released on Captain Trip Records in 1999.




Gyaatees - Gyaatees III: Welcome Motoharu Yoshizawa Last Live

... and the legendary free-jazzer Motoharu Yoshizawa is definitely more than welcome! Recorded live at La-Mama, Shibuya, Tokyo in 1998 and Keihoku-Shogakko Tukui, Kanagawa in 1998.

CD released on Captain Trip Records in 1999.

Welcome Motoharu-Yoshizawa Last Live


Gyaatees - 4, Live At Show Boat

Gyaatees appear to have been Akira, Tairyu Kakuta, Yokai Takahashi (who at one point was the bassist with Les Rallizes Denudes) and some Sei-sou priests."Sei-sou" apparently means somebody who is intellectually handicapped. I always thought that all priests were intellectually handicapped. Ah well and anyway...

This CD was released on Captain Trip Records in 2001 and captures the troupe live at the Showboat venue in Tokyo.

Expect psychedelically-minded off kilter jazz fuelled made up space rock carnage.

Live At Show Boat


Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalos - Electrum

In 1970, they released an album of extremely accomplished but very conventional Burt Bacharach covers. Then, in the same year, they dropped this monster. There are parts of the structure that echo the earliest Mothers Of Invention albums but really this is hyped up jazz with a funk heart. The musicianship is truly jaw-dropping.

It took THIRTY SIX years before anybody thought to repress this ... seriously, what is wrong with people?



Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffalos - Uganda (Dawn Of African Rock) [ウガンダ]

Straight from the first sustained drone, you realise that you are in a different world to the one that you are acquainted with. Then the guitar squall kicks in alongside some frenzied tribal drumming. About half way through a random Mothers Of Invention-style time signature drops almost like is a signal to the band "hey guys, this is Africa" so they oblige with some "authentic" tribal chanting before that comes to a close and there is the most psychedelic guitar freak-out over a funky back beat which abruptly stops and the guitar threatens to launch into a feedback squall but doesn't. That's only the first track!

Originally, this LP was released on Toshiba Records in 1972. It took 34 (yes, THIRTY FOUR) years before anybody thought to repress it. Quite simply one of the greatest and most deliriously exciting things ever committed to vinyl.



Group Ongaku - Music of Group Ongaku

You may not have heard the name Group Ongaku, but you've sure heard of some of the group members. Takehisa Kosugi (who would go on to lead Taj Majal Travellers and East Bionic Symphonia) and Shukou Mizunao (now an established composer and artist) were just college students in Tokyo in the late 1950's when they roped in some friends (including Yasunao Tone and Fluxus artist Mieko Shiomi) to create group improvisations and soundtracks for modern dance. The recordings on this very rare CD, which as far as I'm aware are the only existing recordings of the group, were made in 1960 and 1961. As a historical document, the significance of this album is self-evident. It's helpful, though, that the music is also great.

Group Ongaku - Music of Group Ongaku


Chie Mukai & Rinji Fukuoka - L'Energie De L'Existence

More kokyu screeching and sawing from Chie Mukai, this time in a duo with Rinji Fukuoka of the astounding psych rock band Overhang Party (go buy the boxset of their complete studio work from Important Records now) and now Majutsu no Niwa. This came out in 2003 as a CD on Turtle's Dream, a French label that was an offshoot of A Bruit Secret.

Chie Mukai & Rinji Fukuoka - L'Energie De L'Existence


Chie Mukai & Masayoshi Urabe - Dual Anarchism

It appears that Badgerstump is on a Japanese underground rampage, so I'm going to jump in and keep this party going for awhile. This LP came out on Siwa in 2002, and features duo improvisations by Chie Mukai (a singer and multi-instrumentalist who's known mainly for her kokyu playing, though she was a member of the legendary East Bionic Symphonia and has led her "pop" band Ché-SHIZU since 1981) and confrontational post-Abe sax player Masayoshi Urabe. It was limited to 400 copies, all of which are long gone by now.

Chie Mukai & Masayoshi Urabe - Dual Anarchism


Various - Black To Communist 2

Mrs Inside and I thought that we would never hear this "unofficial" double CDr.

Thanks to an anonymous and wonderful person, you get Masayuki Takayanagi And New Direction For The Arts, East Bionic Symphonia, The Flowers, Stomu Yamash'ta & The Horizon, Masahiko Satoh, Speed, Glue & Shinki, Love Live Love Live Life Plus One and Taj Mahal Travellers.

More Hammer

More Sickle


Les Rallizes Denudes & Yellow - Rallizes House Session at Fussa

Strictly speaking, the first disc is Les Rallizes Denudes and Be, with the latter being Taisuke Morishita who adds a synthesizer washout. This is the titular session recorded on the 1st of April, 1975. The second disc is Yellow recorded live at the Hitotsubashi University festival on the 11th of November, 1973. This is a wonderful acid-blues-rock sound delivered by Taisuke Morishita on bass and vocals, Hiroshi Imaizumi on guitar and Lost Aaraaff drummer Hiroyuki Takahashi.

Double CD released on Dead Flower in 2004.

Rallizes House

Hitotsubashi University festival


Various - Black To Communist

Unofficial double CDr of relatively hard to find tracks from previous releases and compilations. Yellow, Acid Seven, Blues Creation, Masayuki Takayanagi's New Direction, Karuna Khyal, Lost Aaraaff, Murahachibu, Brast Burn, ◯△▢ and Zuno Keisatsu. Maybe more of a jump-off point to begin to explore the Japanese commune / festival scene of the late 60's and early 70's but a fine thing in its own right.

There was a second volume that we have never heard ... maybe if you have it, we could be cured of that painful itch?

The Hammer

The Sickle


Various - Nihon Nihilist

J. A. Seazer, On Stuff (who appear to only appear here), Kousokuya (with the extremely rare appearance of Asahito Nanjo joining on bass), Les Rallizes Denudes (as Hadaka no Rallizes), High Rise (denoted as Psychedelic Speed Freak) and Magical Power Mako.

Where the hell did this CDr come from? The vaulted mind of Julian Cope, that's where this came from. In 2009.

You have read his Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler books several hundred times haven't you? Ah good ... how could I have doubted you?

It's Japanoise Jim, but not as you know it.


Aube & Nagisanite - Metalmollification

Split cassette released in 1999 by G.R.O.S.S. and Org Records in a limited edition of 117 copies, with live performances by Aube (using metal sounds) on one side and three songs by acid-rock band Nagisanite on the other.

Aube & Nagisanite - Metalmollification


Aube, Nagasa Ni Te, Naoki Zushi - Orbital Confluence (Benefit 2000)

Another three-way split CD, this time featuring Aube with Naoki Zushi (formerly of Hijokaidan and The Hallelujahs) and acid-rock band Nagisa Ni Te (featuring Zushi on guitar and the legendary Ikuro Takahashi on drums). It was released to coincide with a concert to benefit survivors of the Hanshin Awaji earthquake of 1995.

Orbital Confluence


Aube, John Duncan, Schloss Tegal - The Mind of a Missile

Three-way split CD from a German label called Heel Stone, which only existed from 1994 to 1996 and managed to release just three albums. This one is supposed to be about military something-or-other ("Deadly Science" is not, I don't think, an actual warning label that any military organization applies to real documents). 


Various - Genya Concert 1971

These are live recordings from the Sanritsuka Genyasai festival held on the 14th and 15th of August 1971. There was a CD release that contained only the music tracks. The is the double CD release from 2003 that also contains the spoken word elements. Whilst I don't understand a word that is said, it still adds a lot to the atmosphere. Musically, you get Dew, Lost Aaraaff, Blues Creation and Zuno Keisatsu.




Various - Oz Days Live

Originally, this was a seminal double LP released in Japan in 1973 to commemorate the closure of the Oz music venue. Given that it captures the times perfectly, it now goes for a small fortune. Thankfully, it had a couple of bootleg re-releases in 2007/8. So here is Miyako Ochi, Acid Seven, The Taj-Mahal Travellers and Les Rallizes Denudes.




Les Rallizes Dénudés - 13 CDs

Not that long ago, the Mrs and I were having a nice chat about Les Rallizes Dénudés and she described them as "black hole psychedelia". I wish that I had thought of that! It's a perfect description ...

I'll assume that you know Les Rallizes Dénudés and their history and the long history of "grey area" issues, reissues and regurgitations.

Evidently, this is a 13 disc collection of live recordings. It was released on Ignuitas in 2011.

02/17/93 Club Citta

02/17/93 Club Citta

07/10/94 Kyoto Univercity

09/09/94 Club Citta

09/09/94 Club Citta

02/24/95 Club Citta

02/24/95 Club Citta

10/04/96 Club Citta

10/04/96 Club Citta

11/03/97 Manda-la2

11/03/97 Manda-la2

11/14/97 Manda-la2

11/14/97 Manda-la2


Al Margolis & Rafael Flores & Bogart & Yutaka Tanaka - International Mail-Music Group

Remember those halcyon days when people shipped tapes across continents to gradually produce collaborative music and then release them to a subunderground audience that was generally smaller than the number of people that actually collaborated? Of course you don't! You weren't even born then ... not even a twinkle in your mother's sperm eye (that is the right phrase isn't it?). Anyway you young bastards ... this is brilliant!

C46 jointly released on (pause for breath) El Consumo Del Miedo, Sound Of Pig, Afflict Records and Bog-Art in 1986.

International Mail-Music Group


S·Core - Dross

Nightmare lullabye-bye ...

C48 jointly released on Afflict Records and Trinity Production in 1985.



S·Core - Morbid Moppets

Much more in the industrial vision than the previous tape excluding the programmed synth vibe that appears and leaves ... it would be incongruous in the hands of somebody else ... but this is S·Core after all.

C44 jointly released on Afflict Records and Trinity Production in 1986.

Morbid Moppets


S·Core - Alter

Let's face it ... you've already made your mind up by now.

C48 jointly released on Afflict Records and Trinity Production in 1986.



S·Core + Trigger-B - Flux and Reflux

Yutaka Tanaka collaborating with Thomas Bosselmann. B-movie manoeuvres in the dark mode.

C48 jointly released on Afflict Records and Trinity Production in 1987.

Flux and Reflux


S·Core + Biasin Stefano - Untitled

Isolative plumbing with the backing track of next door's party and then we start. The world is a very strange place and sometimes it's strange in a very good way.

Collaborative C60 released on Afflict Records in 1987.



S·Core - Undersong

The first track ("Blasphemer") is absolutely astonishing ... the rave I always wanted to be at but never found. From there, it's a slide into the murk of a spectacular come-down. Sounds like a good night out to me.

C48 released on Underground Productions in 1987.



Bogart + S·Core - Pilgrim

I know that Bogart is Hubert Haverkamp but that's about it. Even by S·Core standards, this is deranged. Anyone want to get loved up? Well, you're looking in the wrong place. This tape and hallucinogens will make you doubt everyone around you and ruin your career prospects. I did warn you.

C42 jointly released on the artists Afflict Records and Bog-Art labels in 1987.



The Greatest That Ever Was And Ever Will Be

I can't even begin to explain. Part of me died today.


Jack or Jive Lights - A Solo Exhibition

Jack or Jive are the husband-and-wife duo of Makoto Hattori and Chako, who began making ethereal (more Projekt than 4AD, but in that general soundworld) music in the late 1980s and are still very active. In 1994, they decided to make a more overtly pop album, for which they appended the word "lights" to their band name. The sound, though, isn't very far off from the darker Jack or Jive. Some of these songs are pleasingly rough around the edges, but some sound naive in a not-good way. You be the judge. Released as a CD on Elves Recordings (a division of Dragnet Records/Drag & Drop) in 1994.

Jack or Jive Lights - A Solo Exhibition


S·Core - A Great Lump

And then you get sideswiped by the Bontempi ... what's that about? That's rhetorical by the way ...

C48 released on Technological Feeling in 1987.

A Great Lump


S·Core - Infant

Brooding industrial confusion.

C44 released on Corrosive Tapes in 1988.



S·Core - Pretension

The soundtrack to seriously sinister cinema.

C46 released on Staalplaat in 1988.



S·Core - Dysphonia

Yutaka Tanaka produces very dark atmospheric music. The title is well chosen. Nobody can hear you scream because you can't.

C60 released on Morpheus Editions in 1989.



S·Core - Gush

You'll know where you are by now ...

C46 released on the mighty Extreme in 1990.



S·Core - Deformation

Gorgeous brooding noise that could have been recorded in the bowels of a sinking battleship (but wasn't). C46 released on Tapes For Masses in 1993.



S·Core - Dumb Chamber

Ecclesiastical anticipation, a Bontempi hoedown and piercing industrial noise all delivered by Yutaka Tanaka.

C50 released on Broken Flag in 1987.

Dumb Chamber


Merzbow + S·Core - A Collaboration Tape

C48 released on Afflict Records in 1987 where Merzbow reworks the source material provided by Yutaka Tanaka and vice versa.

A Collaboration Tape