Aoki Tomoyuki is mostly known as the guitarist & vocalist of Up-Tight (Alchemy records, 8mm) and for more than 2 decades he has been behind some albums which mix plaintive echo-drenched imprecations, love of bitter-sweet folk and blissfully nihilistic guitar noise reminiscent of Les Rallizes Denudes and Mizutani’s velvetian ballads.
Harutaka Mochizuki is a multi-instrumentalist, mostly known for his saxophone improvisations recalling other lonely satellites and solo thinkers like Masayoshi Urabe, Arthur Doyle, Anthony Braxton and Kaoru Abe. Aoki and Harutaka have been recording together for a couple of years and this is their first new collaboration after a remarkable self-released CD that saw the light in 2014. Terribly human, passionate and intense, their association is just one of the most inspiring and burning free unit since the apex of the P.S.F era.
Hasegawa-Shizuo is Hirotomo Hasegawa and Shizuo Uchida. Hasegawa is the lead singer of seminal early eighties Japanese punk/hardcore group Aburadako (Greasy Octopus), while Uchida was a long-term member of Haino’s Nijiumu medieval dream-drone unit. For more than 2 decades, the latter was involved in many projects such Le Son de L’os, Kito Mizukumi Rouber, L’extase Métallique and many more. This duo has now been active for a decade, their work being documented on few releases that sadly became scarse over the last years.
Here, the group’s instrumentation is highly unorthodox once again, placing Uchida’s mysterious bass textures against the wet skirl of Hasegawa’s hichiriki, an ancient double-reed wind instrument, the haunting upper register tones of which are an unmistakable feature of gagaku court music. Deliriously strange and enigmatic, their enka cover sounds like a dark composition of their own, associating humour to their unique strangeness.