Astral Travelling Unity & Tenouti Yomezou
Astral Travelling Unity isn’t a project that people will be familiar with yet, but the players involved should be, since it includes synthesist Hiroshi Hasegawa (Astro, ex-C.C.C.C.) and guitarist Junzo Suzuki, plus Yamato (electric sitar), Yamaguchi (electric violin), Shiro (bass), and Fumie (electronics and toys). This expansive project’s first release is the Studio and Live CD, released from Philadelphia’s Archive Recordings label, and as the title hints, it’s just two long tracks, one studio, and one live; the latter also includes Makoto Kawabata on guitar.
The name of the band hints at both Flower Travellin’ Band and Taj Mahal Travellers; it’s the latter which is really the template for Astral Travelling Unity, but here the band create a sort of uber-drone which is also influenced by Hasegawa’s noise efforts. These two tracks, totalling 77 minutes, channel Organum and AMM, through a very organic process, and the results are stellar (in both senses) drone that will take you through all sorts of mental wormholes. Marvellous work, and limited as are all of Archive’s releases — so move quickly.
And now, as they say, for something completely different. Tenouti Yomezou is a side project of Motako from Oshiri Penpenz, but other than that, I can’t tell you much. It has some of the same devil-may-care slapdash quality of Penpenz, but with a more jangly-garage-rock “scum” feel than their noise-punk.
The trio’s name is a bit puzzling, as it’s literally “te no uchi yome zo,” which is something like “mr under the hand bride.” Thanks to the good Mr Alan Cummings, we’re calling the best likely transation “Pussywhipped Brideboy.” So there. The album’s name is Sankuchu Ari.
The twelve songs here whiz by in just under 20 minutes, with the longest song being an economical 2:44 and many just around a minute long. As sloppy, fun scum-garage-rock goes, it’s good stuff, low-fi yet pretty clearly recorded. For more info and to get a copy, check the web site for Frying Start Records, and the band’s site/bbs.