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Release Info: HANIWA-CHAN, KANASHIBARI, LP, 1984, JAPAN
Just to set the stage with a round of maximum cognitive dissonance, this album initiates with a sphincter clenching Arena Rock gambit that would make Loverboy wince. Ah, but these high voltage Japanese oddballs are just setting you up for a fall. Down a rabbithole as it turns out, what with the sudden intrusion of three dimensional polka dotted electro-pop quirk of a sort that some of you might refer to as Zolo. It's but the first in a long and befuddling series of genius caliber rug-pulls from a group who can count both Chris Cutler and Henry Kaiser as worshipful adherents to their wild muse, both having at one time placed this LP in their top 10. Led by percussionist, composer and visionary Kiyohiko Senba, Haniwa-Chan played an alternate and smaller scale iteration of the sort of music he composed on a mass scale with his orchestra-sized ensemble Kiyohiko Senba And His Haniwa All-Stars (both posted on MS previously). And with tracks like Owannaino on here, Cutler and Kaiser's case is not a difficult one for someone to make. Spinning on a dime with pinprick accuracy and rubberized dimensionality, it's literally one of the most astonishing cuts I've ever heard; like some trans-dimensional equivalent of a Rube Goldberg device collapsed down into it's quadraphonic and holographic audio equivalent only to be suddenly ramrodded by an out-of-the-blue intrusion of charging Beetle Juice-like Danny Elfman orchestral bombast before finally reconstituting Rube for another round of airborne whirligig motion. Astonishing and intensely disciplined displays like this are just par for the course with this crew though; arbiters of that rarified realm of uber-weirdness that only fellow 80's Japanese outfits like After Dinner, Wha Ha Ha and Killing Time were plying, though for all the overt displays of compositional outlandishness, there's plenty of winsome cuteness to offset it all in neon pink air quotes. You can thank an anonymous blog friend for enriching your life with this treasure. Go grapple with this one and get back to me, folks...
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