Friction — Crazy Dream
from 軋轢 (Atsureki/Friction) (1980)
Here’s some really dirty Japanese no wave I’ve been meaning to post for a while. The drums and bass are hard enough to make your head throb, and the guitar on top of that sounds finger-bleedingly raw.
The band originally formed in Tokyo in 1971 as Circle Triangle Square, an avant-garde street-performance group that played freeform acid jams. Founding members were Reck, saxophonist Chico Hige, and drummer Sakuro Watanabe. Watanabe’s liner notes on one of their early albums may be some of the best to ever grace an album sleeve:
“Time. Avant-garde, rock’n’roll, vagabond, inhaling paint thinner, journey, beat, nihilism, underground, blues, hippie, Kohenji, genius, LSD, Shinjuku, yippie, pain killer, death, shoplifting, long hair, revolution, insanity, Kyoto, grass, hitchhiking, sex, commune, psychedelic, hashish, Zen, Asobi (playing or game), Satori (spiritual enlightenment), make-up, solitude, loneliness, anti-establishment, idiot, cool, rock festival, trip, guru—they were neighbors, part of us, and enemies sometimes.”
Later in the 70s, Reck and Chico moved to New York City, where they played with Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions and Lydia Lunch, before returning to Japan in 1978 to form Friction with guitarist Tsunematsu Masatoshi. This album, from 1980, was produced by Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, during his time in the electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra. At this point I’ve listed so many bands you’re gonna have to go explore yourself!
Grab the album at FM Shades. And Last Days of Man on Earth has a terrific list of Japanese punk and no wave bands to check out.