16 August 2009
HIJOKAIDAN Making Some Righteous Noise Across 30 CDs!!!
Well, I almost wanted to name and dedicate this entry as "World's Second Greatest Record Label... After PSF - Alchemy"! but the sane side of me kept me in check. But I would say Alchemy Records, if it does not fulfil the above mentioned accolade, it is pretty close to it. Label boss, Jojo Hiroshige, an imposing looking man with no hair and a pair of mafia-like specs on his face reminds me of a yakuza hitman or someone along the line. Yes, he is a hitman of sound and noise. Pretty much the godfather of noise in Japan and arguably the world, he, his band, Hijokaidan (meaning Emergency Staircase) and the label basically define what Noise as a genre is since the early 1980s. Based in Osaka, instead of Tokyo, the long accepted face of Japanese Underground, Alchemy has been releasing tons of CDs of bands/acts from the Kansai region (as opposed to the Tokyo Bay region), providing an alternative to the domination of the capital city. Healthy rivalry I would say.
Back to the recently released anniversary box set of 30 CDs, titled simply "The Noise", it tracks the start, growth and development of the band since the late 1970s till today. From the early days of prog rock inspired Improv jam to all-out dada/actionist assaults on their audience to their mid-period explosion of band-based noise rock to today's in-your-face wall-of-noise blasts, this set tells us who's the boss in the world of Noise, be it Japan or elsewhere in the world.
Thrilling, kickass and what a blast to all pretenders of cool-noise dude faked fans out there!
Go to the PSF/Modern Music shop site if you are thinking of procuring a copy.