Saturday, April 19, 2008

Taku Sugimoto-MIENAI TENSHI LP (Weird Forest, available through Forced Exposure)

Actually, I got my copy of this limited edition (500 only) long player from Volcanic Tongue Scotland way, but it looks like it's outta stock at that venerable mail order biz so I wouldn't go 'round buggin' 'em for any right now. Forced Exposure still has 'em, so if you're in the mood for a guitar freakout album that comes complete with an all-black cover (which'll certainly confuse you if you have the first Drunks With Guns album as well as the Velvet Underground's BLACK ALBUM bootleg in your collection) you better get it asap before you'll be feeling sorry for yourself having missed out while you had the chance. And believe-you-me, I know what that's all about...feeling sorry for myself, that is!

Sugimoto's one of those guitar-manglers who's been in on the fertile Japanese underground scene for quite some time, but like a lotta these new psychedelic freakout mavericks from the Land of the Rising Whatever I've ignored him out of lack of spare change more than anything. Only because of a nagging curiosity (and a neat come-on that Volcanic Tongue gave this disc using the usual hotcha drag-'em-in reference points guaranteed to make me part with my moolah) did I snatch this one up from the bowels of obscurity, but although I wasn't quite expecting yet another Les Rallizes Denudes hard-rock thump I didn't think it would exactly come to this...

All kidding aside, on this '88 recording Sugimoto plays nothing but his whacked-out electric for about a total of twenty or so minutes without taking a breath, doing something that's really not that much different from a lot of other similar freeform guitar excursions that I've heard over my entire (ahem!) "career" of writing things about pre-recorded sound. Pretty exhilarating, life-reaffirming stuff too even though the thing seems to end a lot sooner than one would expect. But there seems to be a certain dimension to the overall approach lacking, I won't deny that this album, good as it may be, ain't got the meat of a Sonny Sharrock or the control of a Bruce Anderson (or the splatter of a Rudolph Grey or the electro-shock of a Von Lmo), and at least to me Sugimoto ranks perhaps a step or two lower than these famed avant gardists offering not quite as much of a promised guitar bashout as I was kinda hoping for. And given how little I know of Sugimoto's career I really can't compare this to any of the other solo guitar recordings he has made since nor his work in various groups. It's just that the resultant stew lacks a little something besides a band to accompany him. Perhaps the lure of hearing that this was recorded under the spell of the Velvets and MC5 was enough to perhaps cloud my reasoning with regards to where my hard-earned is directed for those rare purchasing excursions, but even on a garage band level it doesn't quite come 100% up to snuff.

Aww really, for a blast of hard-edged noise MIENAI TENSHI is worth whatever you'd care to plunk down for it and serious noise-rock fans probably already know about it and have it in their collections at this time. However, if I hadda do it all over again I'd save it for after I've heard every shard of guitar strangulation extant by the likes of the above-mentioned thrusters as well as a few more who are bound to be discovered lurking beneath the underground even as we speak. There's always room in my heart and record collection for platters as atonal as this and really, how can anyone with their third eye as near-sighted as mine really ignore such an accomplishment in unbridled atonality even if a lotta similar works are even more cacophonistic. I'm sure a few decades from now when whoever inherits my discs settles back with some antique turntable and plays this album, he (or maybe even she) witll probably stand up and say..."well, I guess there just wasn't much to do in 2008, eh?"

1 comment:

Alastair said...

If you like this, you'll love "Live in Australia".