In September and October, the musical scene in Brussels brings the Japanese dimension closer to the Belgian public. Magasin 4 dedicates three evenings to the Japanese rock scene of progressive jazz, noise and space rock, during the European Tours of some of the most appreciated masterminds artists of the field.
The opening was done on 19 September with Tatsuya Yoshida in two subsequent recitals, as Ruins Alone and in Korekyojinn. Two bands, one drummer. But not any drummer.
Tatsuya Yoshida is described by John Zorn as ‘indisputable master drummer of the Japanese underground’. The same artist is made responsible by Eugene Chadbourne for ‘having spearheaded at least a half dozen of Japan’s most important groups’ and has been a constant presence on the rock Japanese scene since the ‘80s.
Ruins Alone is a performance of Tatsuya Yoshida at drums, voice and computer effects. The drum set is a machine which Tatsuya Yoshida controls with a sort of casual supremacy, transforming conflicting rhythms into live art form. It is not an exercise of virtuosity or an attestation of great drumming and mixing ability. The sound energy arising from the stage and almost visually surrounding the venue brings unpredictable joy to the public. After 30 minutes of feverish and intense action with a delirious conclusion, Tatsuya Yoshida announced a small break and the main act, Korekyojinn. The break was surprisingly short as if the previous effort was annulled by his high energy and eagerness to perform.
Formed in 1988, the band’s name means ‘This Giant’ and it is their tribute to the inspiration got from This Heat and Gentle Giant. Their first self-titled album was issued at John Zorn’s label Tzadik. The latest two albums issued at Magaibutsu in 2011, Tundra and Doldrums were heavily represented in the concert’s setlist.
It is never my case but I have to completely surrender to description of the band found on the official website: ‘The trio dance on razors, are sharp as a tack – and their overwhelming ability jettisons them into the outer limits – where progressive rock and contemporary jazz collide into a breathtaking, futuristic, hard rock funk.’
What I saw on stage was a mix of progressive rock and jazz with a precise, loud and fast guitarist and a gentle, funky and intense bass player. A very complex wall of sound where the polyrhythm was seducing the public in the most natural manner.
Congratulation to Magasin 4 for the most accurate sound, a nice and warm ambiance (also literally, as a good heater is one’s friend in a rainy cold Brussels autumn evening) and the chance of adding Belgium to the few dates of Korekyojinn’s European Tour of 2013.
The next two Japanese acts at Magasin 4 will be KK Null on 16 October and Acid Mothers Temple on 27 October. Be there!