Monday, 18 January 2016

Les Rallizes Dénudés

The mood this morning has been for maximum heaviosity so I’m currently trawling thru a 4CD collection of late 70’s live performances by Japan’s legendary psych rock group Les Rallizes Dénudés. I mentioned something last week about the MC5 and Faust and their links, tenuous or otherwise to revolutionary groups (The White Panthers and the Baader-Meinhof Group respectively) but Les Rallizes Dénudés are the real deal - the band’s bass player Moriaki Wakabayashi participated in the hijacking of a commercial airplane in 1970 with a militant Communist faction subsequently called The Yodogō Group. This event effectively drove the band underground, frontman and leader Takashi Mizutani became increasingly paranoid and elusive to the point where even today a shroud of secrecy envelops the band, not to mention a layer of tape hiss - apart from a few inconsequential recording sessions, the band’s music can only be heard courtesy of lo-fi tape recordings made at Rallizes concerts. Ironically, these grungy documents compliment Les Rallizes Dénudés music most effectively, the primal, lumbering psychedelic noise sounds utterly fantastic. If you’re a fan of famously terrible live albums like The Stooges’ Metallic K.O. or Wire’s Document and Eyewitness, your flight awaits...

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