Kousokuya First Live 1979
We owe special thanks for this one. After the recent Maher Shalal Hash Baz I wrote about already, now we have an actual document of the first live appearance by the criminally under-recognized Kousokuya.
The liner notes (by Fumio Kosakai) note some of the group’s history. In 1978, Kousokuya were formed as a trio, then in 1979 became a quartet and played their first show, on October 14 at the legendary Club Minor in Kichijoji, Tokyo. Back then the band was Kaneko Jutok on guitar, Mick on bass and vocals, Hiroshi Yokoyama on synth, and the late Toshiko Watanabe on drums. Now, almost thirty years later, Kousokuya, not surprisingly, has changed. Nonetheless, a certain darkness and abandon remain the band’s calling card.
On the date documented on this CD, the focus is more on Mick’s crazy vocals (Mick being a she, by the way) and Yokoyama’s synth forays than on Kaneko’s guitar, which became the main outre ingredient later in the band’s career. The guitar-drum interplay on these pieces is more purely rhythmic, a Velvet Underground kind of distorted strum accompanying a steady drumbeat.
The show heard here would have been remarkable in 1979, an echo of things happening across the ocean filtered through a darkened lens. This is in fact punk rock, but it’s also psychedelic, and it’s also No Wave. Raw, subterranean, asylum rock. It’s amazing that after all this time it’s been discovered and released.
Hopefully it will inspire people to seek out the few other Kousokuya releases, as it’s always amazing to me that fans of Fushitsusha, Acid Mothers Temple, LSD-March and the like have rarely heard of Kousokuya. Granted, releasing only three or four albums over thirty years limits your possibilities, but when they’re so good…