Review Summary: Japanese noise rock in its purest form
Dada artist, Hugo balls once said " For us art is not an end in itself but is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in " All that happens in noise music is about reflecting overemotional feelings of anger, joy, dissatisfaction, euphoria… etc, in an anarchistic approach. put it in another way, Noise music is a kind of extreme music focused on expressions rather than forms to evoke moods and ideas.
Formed in late 60s by literature student Takashi Mizutani, The band played an important roll in developing avant-garde theatrical movement of Japan psychedelic music.
Live77 can be considered as a compilation, an adventurous best-of that the band at its peak of perfection released. There is a same formula for almost every song in this album, minimalist structure and feedback-ridden. The songs are mostly made of a deliberately simplistic folk electric guitar melody which starts the song and gradually drowns it in a sea of improvisational noise, drones and hypnotic japanese singing of Mizutani. The way he sings or wails reminds the listener of Japanese traditional style of singing and what struck me as odd is that there are moments which fit in Butoh dance, as mentioned before the band was associated with some theatrical acts but their passion for extreme volumes of sound became an obstacle in their collaboration with avant-garde theatre scene. Bassline is one of the greatest aspects of this album, It's jazz-blues-oriented, careful and thoughtful ,makes sometimes the band , look like a psych jam ensemble. It is something that does not let the music die in its often lengthy explosions of noise. As a comparison Jesus and mary chain's psychocandy is not as much as this dependant on bassline but on rhythm due to its 4-minute-average length of songs. here we have songs averagely 13 minutes.
Metaphorical lyrics ( English translation with a few exceptions is unavailable ) are mostly about solipsism, existentialism, dark subjects, death, political affairs, It is beautiful yet ugly; simple yet mesmerizing.The album is aesthetics of ugliness.A modern-era grotesque.It is lo-fi but not as raw as black metal noise releases. The noise music, essentially, and live77 no exception, is some kind of enigmatic all the way, first track called Enter the mirror says it all…It opens a door in a mirror, captures the listener in the other side of it, in its chaotic, surrealistic soundscapes where mystery rules.
Enter the mirror, Flames of Ice and 21-minute beast called "The last one" are my picks.