Suishou No Fune

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Suishou No Fune (Japanoise, 2005), 7/10
Writhing Underground Flowers (2007), 6.5/10
Prayer for Chibi (2007), 7.5/10
Mystic Atmosphere (2008), 6/10
The Gold Labyrinth (2008), 5/10

Japan's trio Suishou No Fune, formed by female guitarist Pirako Kurenai and male guitarist Kageo, accompanied their reverb-drenched slow-motion lullabies with hypnotic mellow lightweight free-form twin-guitar noise. Suishou No Fune (Japanoise, 2005), particularly the 17-minute The Blue Bird - Betrayal and Freedom, rehearsed the format.

Writhing Underground Flowers (Important, 2007) contains three improvised jams. Sparse hypnotic reverbed guitar tones against a languid distorted drone set the stage for the rather tedious litany of In The Moonlight, that shows the downside of the band's music. On the other hand, the duet between wailing harmonica and cosmic drone in A Midnight Ode - Like The Wind (25 minutes) is positively mesmerizing, and it gets even harrowing when the music stops and the harmonica intones a bluesy motif against menacing bass lines. The litany of Writhing Underground Flowers (22 minutes) is initially a tedious repetition but then plunges into tense cacophony whose crescendo is as ghastly as poignant.

Where The Spirits Are (2006), The Light Of Dark Night (march 2007) and The Shining Star (november 2005 - Important, 2008) were live albums.

Their drum-less slocore peaked with the mournful dilated "ballads" of the double-disc Prayer for Chibi (march 2007 - Holy Mountain, 2007), a requiem of sorts. The 23-minute Prayer proves the progress that the concept has undergone. Shamanic noises and a distant lament set the stage. Then psychedelic guitar improvisation creates a quasi-Zen sense of pointlessness. This time the singing, when it finally emerges, is more articulate, ranging from psalm-like melody to delirious babbling. The voice interacts creatively and emotionally with the guitar through the ebbs and flows of the piece, and basically helps it reach its serene finale. The vocals are placed at the forefront in Till We Meet Again. They evoke both Buddhist chanting and shamanic chanting, while the guitars create a vivid and intricate background of tinkling tones. The balance between the two elements quickly collapses and the music erupts in stately guitar distortions. Then the cycle resumes... Becoming A Flower, instead, highlights the dramatic side of their art, a prolonged lament that eventually erupts in shoegazing distortions without the cinematic finesse of the previous piece but with a stronger melodic pathos. In The Clouds is the quintessential oneiric piece, a concerto of ultra-psychedelic guitar and vocals over a martial bass line that seems to mark the time. If this represents the ethereal end of the spectrum, all the power and noise that was missing from the other pieces invades Resurrection Night, an improvisation worthy of the worst (best) Japanese noisemongers. Finally, the 20-minute version of Cherry (originally on the first album) is the closer thing to a power-ballad that they have recorded, i.e. the most organized piece on the album. The band disposes of drums the way a Zen monk disposes of time: let the ideas take their time to evolve and die, let the natural cycle take its course with no hurry and no design. This is music that cannot be measured.

Mystic Atmosphere (Cut Hands, 2008), including the 15-minute jam Susano'o and the 14-minute The Memory Of Ancient Times, was unusually loud and aggressive.

The self-indulgent The Gold Labyrinth (may 2007 - 2008) was performed by a quartet.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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