Suishou No Fune - I Throw a Stone Into the Endless Depths (Sloow Tapes CS)
I can't afford to buy all the Sloow Tapes all the time (in a perfect world...) but there are some one just can't miss out on and a Suishou No Fune Sloow Tape is about twelve of those. If there's anything better than three Japanese longhairs getting in touch with their psychedelic side, it's when they're doing it on cassette...wrapped in a brain-blistering vintage Bart/Sloow fold-out extravaganza...with glossy (translated) lyric sheet included! It's the perfect stocking stuffer. Buy it now and save it for next Christmas, you'll truly touch someone's heart with it! If you ain't knowin', Suishou No Fune are a trio comprised of Pirako Kurenai (guitar/vocals), Kageo (guitar/vocals) and Jun Harada (drums). In the past they've been responsible for a bunch of CD-Rs a "real" self-titled CD and a disc on Holy Mountain by the name of "Where the Spirits Are", and now they've got a couple more on tap from well-to-do labels Blossoming Noise and Lotus Sound. Impressive and a real pain on the wallet. Like just about every Japanese psych group. Would you have it any other way? Naw.
"I Throw a Stone Into the Endless Depths" (don't we all?) is a c90 featuring three big shiny tunes - two on side A and the other on side B. As you can see, that's a whole lot of muzak. First tune is "I Descend into the Oasis of Your Eyes" (my eyes?) and is an awesome, incredibly drawn-out post-Rallizes, post-Fushitsusha guitar-driven psych cinerator. The lead guitar (not sure if it's Kurenai or Kageo) sounds like the burning cosmos itself splashed with gentle droplets of percussion. The singer (again, either Kurenai or Kageo) has the distant, languid Mizutani vocal delivery down to a virtual artform. The lyrics, though sung in Japanese, are a real treat when read in English. Sloppy and overdramatic and foolishly heart-rending - maybe I'm just a sucker. The remaining ten-ish minutes are devoted to "Endless Descent", a syrupy haven of bluesy glances like deteriorating Quicksilver Messenger Service bootlegs played at the wrong speed. It's a luminescent out-rock space crawl, haunted and charming.
Side two is "Everything Will Turn to Sand?" in all its thirty-plus minutes o' glory. The first little while sounds almost like Keiji Haino leading the Vibracathedral Orchestra with a heavy aura of guitar and effects congealing together to form a dizzying drone, soon to be pounded on by a flummoxing unrhythm via Harada. Kurenai or Kageo or both then start up with very Haino-esque pained yelping. The song starts to sound more and more like a free jazz grapple with the drumming resembling Ronald Shannon Jackson in Last Exit 'cept instead of locking horns with Sharrock's bludgeoning spikes it's wading against the thick atmospheric current churned out by the two guitarists. The track drifts off with a totally great Arkestral galaxy ride, delivering you and me directly unto La La Land where we build cloud castles in our underwear.
What else is there to say? If you're a fan of latter-day Japanese psych a la PSF's "Tokyo Flashback" compilations, bands like LSD-March, Miminokoto, Up-Tight, Yura Yura Teikoku, Kousokuya, Aural Fit and even Ghost, you basically need to own this. You could argue that your money would be better off put towards finally buying the first Fushitsusha double live on PSF or that Rallizes "Deeper Than the Night" LP on eBay, but in twenty years time this'll be one of those documents then. So it's yer roll of the dice bub. Personally I recommend this tape and I recommend it a lot. Still not sold out at source either, thought you'd better hurry. It's almost painfully ironic how faast Sloow Tapes sell out. Git!