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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saisei-Koubou, Japan

Saisei-Koubou - s/t. 1987 private (LLE Distribution).

This is one I picked up from a well known Japanese dealer at the 1994 ProgFest record convention (of all places). It's a neat personal story, but I won't bore you all with it. I still have the wax paper that came with it which protected the homemade golden seal from the LP plastic sleeve.

A couple of days ago we featured an obscure Japanese group from 1987 (Nishin) who released an album heavily influenced by early 80's Belew era King Crimson. Here's another obscurity from 1987 Japan, also influenced by Crimson. This time we go back to the 1974 Starless and Bible Black era. A heavy psych guitar, woody bass, metallic percussion sound pervades, with some ominous male vocals (in Japanese) and tuneless keyboard sounds overlaid on top. It's a bit under produced and amateurish, but their hearts are in the right place, and frankly no one was doing music like this in the late 1980s. Probably the closest comparison here is the Michigan band Inserts from their first album (which was distributed in Japan, so I have to wonder if this band may have stumbled on the album) - which we featured a long while ago.

The AC adds more info: "It's actually not a private release, but on Pneuma's (Trembling Strain, Takami, etc.) LLE label, which also released the original Lacrymosa EP and a bunch of other underground stuff in the 80s, including those really cool Takami albums. In fact, the drummer in Saisei is the same guy from Lacrymosa, and I think the guitarist was in Golden Avant-Garde, so there's a definite connection with Chihiro S., even though he's not on the album himself." He also states regarding the Act Min Tanaka on the label: "Min Tanaka is a famous butoh dancer, and I remember learning that the band apparently had some kind of association with him, performing in one of his dance studios or something."

I reviewed the LP more closely and it does say LLE Distribution (etched in black on an all black cover!) - but the label appears private. BTW, that Golden Avant-Garde album is really great, and one I bought when it came out (1993/4). Maybe one day I'll start an "Obscure CD" blog (oh for crying out loud, really Tom?) - that album most certainly would be an early entry!

Priority: 3


MS said...

I bought this LP years ago in a magic and small vynil shop in Tokyo, and I'm listening to it for the first time now. Thank You for the info you provided here! The date putted on my vynil is 1993, are you sure about your's (1987)? I add that I quite appreciated the clean recording of ACT MIN TANAKA, something sober and genuine as it was recorded live, it could be therefore during an act performance of Tanaka. MS

MS said...

Oh sorry, you're right... I took it out of the plastic case, and now I can see. As you mentioned... really Obscure!

Tom said...

Thanks MS for the comments!

MS said...

If interested,
I found some info here: http://rateyourmusic.com/lists/list_view?list_id=25756&show=25&start=325

Saisei Koubou (再生~工房)
- ACT MIN TANAKA (1987).
Side_A: -1- Saiseikoi (再生行為)
-2- Itsudatsushita (逸脱した俳人). Side_B: -1- Bohatei (防波堤) -2- Kiron (奇論) -3- Nichibotsu (日没). Musicians: Uchino Hiromi (内野宏海う のひろみ) bass/voice - Enomoto Ryuichi (榎本隆一 えのもとりゅういち) guitar - Fukushima Toru (福嶋透 ふくしまとおる) keyboard - Sasaki Masahiro (佐々木政博 ささきまさひろ) drums/percussion. Guest musician: Hirota Tokuomi (広田徳臣 ひろたとくみ) voice. Sound technician: Kenji Yoshida and Satoru Takazawa.