High Rise
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Psychedelic Speed Freaks , 6/10
High Rise II , 7/10
Dispersion , 6/10
Live , 7/10
Disallow , 6/10
Desperado , 5/10
Musica Transonic: Introducing Musica Transonic (1995), 7/10
Musica Transonic: A Pilgrim's Repose (1996), 6.5/10
Musica Transonic: Orthodox Jazz (1997), 6.5/10
Musica Transonic: Incubation (1998), 6/10
Musica Transonic: Swing Strong Mod (1999), 6/10
Munehiro Narita: Munehiro Narita (2005), 5/10
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High Rise is a Japanese trio formed by vocalist and bassist Asahito Nanjo and by guitarist Munehiro Narita. Narita had already recorded Taco (Pinakotheca, 1983). High Rise are a power-trio in the (brutal, improvisational, punkish) vein of Caspar Brötzmann's Massaker. Narita's stunning technique is the main attraction. The 1984 cassette Psychedelic Noise Beats (La Musica, 1996) won't be reissued for years. Ditto for the 1986 cassette Tapes (La Musica, 1996). Not counting the bootleg Psychedelic Speed Freaks (PSF, 1984 - Time Bomb, 1997), High Rise's first album was High Rise II (PSF, 1986 - Squealer, 1998), that opens with a delirious rock and roll number, Turn You Cry and then delves into the uncontrolled urge of Cotton Top, amid neurotic guitar strumming and tribal drumming. Another epileptic fit detonates Last Rights while Wipe Out's epic refrain and cosmic riff could come out of a lost 1960s Pink Floyd album played at double speed. Everything pales compared with the 13-minute trenody Pop Sicle, a calculated gamble on the Velvet Underground's raga-boogie augmented with thundering drums and galactic guitar solos. Their terrorist art and Narita's catastrophic guitar style culminate with this unrestrained bacchanal. The 1998 reissue includes Monster A Go Go and Induced Depression.

Dispersion (PSF, 1992 - Squealer, 1998) has the anthemically noisy and pulsing Mainliner (a` la Stooges) and is crowned by the 15-minute Sadducees Faith.

High Rise recorded a legendary Live (PSF, 1994 - Squealer, 1999) that ranks with Grateful Dead's Live Dead as one of the monumental works of improvised psychedelic rock; except that High Rise build walls of noise in the tradition of Blue Cheer. The breathless rock and roll of Sadame and its explosive guitar solos make Led Zeppelin sound like a band of catholic schoolgirls. Ikon (whose riff is stolen from Electric Prunes' You've Never Had It Better) has the martial, psychotic pace of MC5's best sonic mayhems, amid ferocious guitar distortions and wild arpeggios. Mira is an orgiastic, 8-minute showcase of Narita's thunder and lighning guitar style over demonic drumming, Narita as a guitar semi-god in the vein of Jimi Hendrix.
A more human sound surfaces with Outside Gentiles, an extended blues-rock song of the Cream/Hendrix tradition, doubled by the even more Cream-ian, 9-minute song Door, whose panzer-grade blues groove matches Jack Bruce's grandeur (alas, the vocals definitely don't) while the guitar wails and screams in the best Clapton-ian tradition.
A supercharged version of Mainliner leads into the earth-shaking riff of Pop Sicle, the song stretched to ten agonizing minutes. Simply terrifying.

Ikon is also the centerpiece of Disallow (PSF, 1996 - Squealer, 1999), their most polished record.

Desperado (PSF, 1998) is a minor work that features only one extended jam, Right On.

Both Durophet (Fractal, 1999) and Speed Free Sonic (Paratactile, 1999) are live albums.

Asahito Nanjo is also active as Musica Transonic, a supergroup with Acid Mother Temple's guitarist Makoto Kawabata and Ruin's drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, which released five albums: Introducing Musica Transonic (PSF, 1995), A Pilgrim's Repose (1996), Orthodox Jazz (1997), Incubation (1998), a collaboration with Keiji Haino, and Swing Strong Mod (1999); and several cassettes: Zilch (La Musica, 1995), Works (1995) Euro Rock Boogaloo (1996), Musica Groove (1996), Damp Squib (1996), Differences (1997). Hard Rock Transonic (Fractal, 2002) collects unreleased material. They returned with the indulgent Kysofbigkou (Vivo, 2007).

Another project is Toho Sara (PSF). Nanjo also contributes to noise terrorists Mainliner and many other bands.

High Rise are probably the greatest purveyors of the fusion of free-jazz and acid-rock.

Destination: The Best Of High Rise (PSF, 2002) is an anthology of the years between 1986 and 2001.

Munehiro Narita also played in a duo with drummer Shoij Hano, Kyoaku No Intention. His debut solo album, Munehiro Narita (PSF, 2005), contains two lengthy solos and two duets (with Ueno Takashi of Aihiyo and Maher Shalal Hash Baz). It was followed by Ether (aRCHIVE, 2006).

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