++Disc++

last modified July 2015

Suzuki Junzo - If I Die Before I Wake [WasIstDas/WA10/UK/CASSETTE/2015]



A: Studio 2015
1.Crossing the Valley of the Cosmic Death Demons [08:39]
2.Les Visiteurs du Soir [10:53]
3.If I Die Before I Wake [12:28]

B: Live at Fortress Callosum SF/CA, 21/11/2014
1.She Kissed Their Graves but They Hit Her with Their Ashes [04:38]
2.In the Lair of Norma Desmond / 4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio [22:49]

 



Cassette-10USD  
 

Personnel:

Suzuki Junzo : Electric Guitars, Acoustic 12 strings Guitar, Vocal
Ikuro Takahashi: Drums (on Track A1-3)
Richard Horner: Delays

A.1.2.3 is recorded at Black Snow Flake Sound, Sapporo/Hokkaido March to
April 2015
Recorded by Richard Horner
B.1.2 is recorded live at Fortress Callosum, San Fransisco, CA 21/11/2014
Recorded by Dax Tran-Caffe

All Songs are Mixed at Black Snow Flake Sound by Richard Horner
All Songs are composed by Suzuki Junzo
Produced by Suzuki Junzo

Limited edition of 70 copies
Release DATE, June 25 2015

Notes:
スズキジュンゾ8枚目のソロアルバム「If I Die Before I Wake」が、2015年6月25日、イギリスのWasIstDasよりカセットにてリリース。A面は、2015年、ドラムにおなじみ高橋幾郎を迎えて、札幌にての最新録音から3曲、B面は昨年11月に行われたアメリカツアーから、サンフランシスコのライブ録音。限定70部。

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We’re very proud to have been putting Suzuki Junzo on in Hebden Bridge every year since 2010 and we’re even prouder to be releasing the next chapter in his recording career. How to describe Junzo’s work to the unitiated? He is a cosmic bluesman whose work ranges from skeltal laments to space-ripping walls of noise. His live shoes and records usually capture all these extremes. He’s in bands with Tabata Mitsuru of AMT/Zeni Geva, Koji Shimura of Mainliner

‘If I Die Before I Wake’ is another gem for his discography and takes an interesting new approach. Side one is all brand new studio work and sees Junzo accompanied by veteran drummer Takahashi Ikuro (High Rise, LSD March, Overhang Party and many more). Side two, meanwhile, is a live solo show from 2014 at the Fortress Callosum in San Francisco.

YOUTUBE:
SOUNDCLOUD:


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REVIEW:

Since the turn of the century, Tokyo’s Suzuki Junzo has channelled gentle blues, space rock, and his homeland’s uniquely mental take on freeform psychedelic noise into a momentous body of work, which should see him ranked alongside Japan’s heavyweight cosmic jokers, the likes of Takashi Mizutani, Kawabata Makoto and Asahito Nanjo. The tape label imprint of Hebden Bridge based promoter Was Ist Das? is capping off a killer recent run of releases with If I Die Before I Wake, a stunning addition to Junzo’s discography. Side A contains three lengthy acid jams, recorded in studio with drummer Takahashi Ikuro, who has previously worked with the likes of Kousokuya, Fushitsusha, LSD March, and High Rise to name but a few. The stonking loud nine minute opener, ‘Crossing The Valley Of The Cosmic Death Demons’, truly lives up to the promise of its killer title, with Junzo spinning crazed six-string fireworks over Ikuro’s crazed free time flurries. ‘Les Visiteurs du Soir’ meanwhile, tickles the edges of the atmosphere with strange distant noises, manic percussion rumbles and the sound of Junzo seemingly pulling his guitar to pieces, reconstituted and warped through delay effects, sounding very like the freakiest moments in Germany’s history of music for acid eaters. The title track follows too, bringing side A to an unsettling close as a myriad of cymbal washes and atonal guitar drones consume the stereo field like wildfire for twelve horrifying minutes.

The flipside contains a solo Junzo show recorded at the Fortress Callosum in San Francisco last year. Junzo coerces galaxies of colour from his guitar for the instrumental first 20 minutes. Beautiful plucks sing into reverb chambers, squealing shards of feedback amass and slowly grow into blunter sonic instruments, and shaky storm clouds engulf all in attendance as Junzo freaks out. The closing seven minutes segue into a gothic bluesy death hymn titled ‘4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio’ (presumably after Dario Argento’s 1971 movie of the same name about a musician stalked by a murderer). Simply put, this tape is one of the finest documents of dark psychedelia and blues-riddled noise in existence.
(Tristan Bath from THEQUIETUS.COM)

This tape from ‘cosmic bluesman’ Suzuki Junzo could, conceivably, be described as a split tape with himself. Side A is pure hell-trip dirge terror as Junzo lays down three new rip-roaring tracks in the studio with drummer Takahashi Ikuro, while the flipside is a 2014 solo set from San Francisco.

Fans of guitar heaviness will dig the opening salvo on that that first side in particular, in which the duo comprehensively banish the ghost of Kawabata Makoto’s string histrionics and tear the universe a new one, going hell for leather in a kind of sacrificial flurry of feedback-drenched shredding and tom and cymbal battery.

After that things arguably get even more interesting, Junzo and Ikuro retreating to a ghostlier mood. On Les Visiteurs Du Soir they call up the people hiding underneath your bed for a nerve jangling seance of broken notes and increasingly tense, eerie chimes. Spreading out over its ten itchy minutes, the duo mixes the idiosyncratic scuffles and scrapes of free improv with more familiar apocalypse rock moves.

And if you liked that, you’ll love the pitiless maw of the title track, which seems to dispense with any actual music altogether for a an almost gestural tapestry of looming bass tones and elongated, siren-like drones, with cymbal rushes and more chimes ensure your hackles are well and truly raised. There’s something of Keiji Haino’s masterfully nightmarish Next, Let’s Try Changing The Shape about this ? there are no vocals, of course, it’s more the way in which the duo’s desolate playing seems to call out across a vast subterranean space, the mouldering dark much more presence than absence.

Side B’s solo performance is just as deep and heavy, the broken chord fingerings of She Kissed Their Graves but They Hit Her with Their Ashes mewling like Dean McPhee trapped in a deep well. But any chance to vibe on Junzo’s death jazz trip is harshed out by sudden bombardment of fuzz and squeal, with his guitar sounding loud enough to tear off the top of your head and fry the brains inside.

As Junzo starts into the pulsing feedback wail of In the Lair of Norma Desmond, I reckon being at Fortress Callosum in SF must have been a lot of fun that night. The overwhelming tidal force that Junzo summons from his guitar is like some Hendrix-style ultimate guitar burn, which, instead of being unleashed as the climax of his rock action to blow the minds of gesticulating flower children, instead becomes the totality of his all-engulfing workout. It’s a storm in heaven, both alpha and omega, an altered state that summons up the molten fury of a sun being born and dying in simultaneous abandon.
Popsmargree of We Need No Swords


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