Transmissions from Japan

There’s lots of amazing underground activity going on in Japan, and it’s always been near-impossible to figure out what the hell is actually going on, but with the internet we can catch live sets from some amazing performers and combos. One of the most mind-boggling is Guy Unit‘s recent set with Jojo Hiroshige of Hijo Kaidan notoriety. First of all, there’s eleven people playing on stage (including Kawabata Makoto). Second, it’s really fucking tight for an improv set of eleven people playing all at once. Eleven, for fuck’s sake!

Next up is a combo that I’ve wanted to hear for a while but never got the chance, Tangerine Dream Syndicate, which is pretty straight-forward in how it’s going to sound. Heavy line-up, though: Fukuoka Rinji of Overhang Party with heavyweight noise cats Fumio Kosakai & Ryuichi Nagakubo (of C.C.C.C. and all them other harsh combos) making minimal psychedelic earth drones… also on the bill that night was Urabe Masayoshi playing solo alto sax, and it’s hard to find words for how utterly breathtaking this set is. It’s like he boiled all the toxins out of Kaoru Abe‘s discography and distilled all the transcendent elements you can find in a free improv sax solo.

Finally, here’s a classic volatile Hijo Kaidan set from 1989. Not for the faint of heart.

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