Sunday, January 23, 2011

Acid Mothers Sunday Vol 33: 20 Guilders and Suzuki Junzo

One of my fave bands of that last few years is 20 Guilders, the duo of Suzuki Junzo (Miminokoto, Pouring High Water) and Tabata Mitsuru (AMT & The Cosmic Inferno, Zeni Geva, Leningrad Blues Machine). I first became of aware of Junzo from his work on the Archive CD release of Astral Traveling Unity. I think he posted on the AMT message board, but we have been emailing for a few years now and his work is always incredibly diverse and interesting, from his solo releases to his group releases with Miminokoto and others. His inverted raw blues sound is always identifiable seems equally informed by Takashi Mizutani and Jerry Garcia as well as Loren Connors, Dock Boggs and Mississippi John Hurt. One of these days I hope he and Kawabata do some duo recordings! Tabata of course needs no introduction, his guitar squall is an institution. Of course my first non Zeni Geva exposure to Tabata was his awesome turn in the Leningrad Psychedelic Blues Machine's heavy cover of "Dark Star," still a complete and utter mindfuck. And of course, he is the bassist in Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno.

Mason Jones posted a song from 20 Guilders on his great Ongakublog and it was an instant hit in this house. I had to track down their self released CDrs and their cassette on Sloow Tapes. Dreamy, spacey and somewhat Syd, I was hooked on the relatively gentle sounds from these two multi dimensional guitarists (plus other sounds). Their first "real" (silver CD) release comes from the oddball Gyuune Cassette label, a self titled eight song trip that contains new versions of some of their older songs as well as new jams. Most of the songs contain some drums and bass and make the sound fuller, more of a band than a duo, an unexpected surprise and making the songs heavier without losing the delicate touch of the earlier releases. The deep head swirl dual guitars are still there and better than ever, the song writing is top notch. The track I am featuring here is "Except Emanuel," one of the harder rocking jams on the CD. Definitely some windblown Crazy Horse, guitars pushed high in the mix, washing against each other, while the drums are slight and way in the back. Great singing, distorted guitars, boiling. I wish it was 20 minutes long.

Suzuki Junzo's recent solo release on Plunk's Plan, Buried Sky, Spider Torn to Pieces is a fantastic distillation of Junzo's various influences and mostly features him on solo electric guitar with some vocals and some drums from LSD March's Ikuro Takahashi. Junzo's eclectic style makes more sense than ever on this one, for me it is his most rewarding solo work yet. The nods to country and Venus blues, plus the highwater marks of Japanese underground guitar damage are many and often coming out of nowhere, but the whole makes perfect sense. I get the feeling that this album will be rewarding for years to come, I keep picking up new phrases and sounds with each listen. For Acid Mothers Sunday, I am posting Junzo's "Black Pendulum." This is a bit of an oddity for the album as it features almost techno/Krautrock propulsion, but not as much jarring ragged guitar lines as a lot of the tracks. But damn, it is such a good atmospheric head nod for driving in the snow, and that is how we roll this month.

You can buy both of these releases direct from Suzuki Junzo here. Highly highly recommended.

Both artists will also be on the upcoming Grateful Dead covers release I am curating, Left Hand Monkey Wrench on Prophase Music sometime in 2011. Junzo's drone project Pouring High Water tackle "Franklin's Tower" and Tabata plays bass on the Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno version of "Eyes of the World." Both are mindblowingly awesome.

Here are some videos of 20 Guilders live, tracks for download below.

20 Guilders - Except Emanuel (From 20 Guilders on Gyuune Cassette)

Suzuki Junzo - Black Pendulum (From Buried Sky, Spider Torn to Piece on Plunk's Plan)


link rae said...

love that scene...
thanks for another great post !

Anonymous said...

great post thanks thought you might like this

nicepooperzine said...

thanks as always, Link! and thanks anon... I posted the 3rd LP here as an Acid Mothers Sunday, but it is great to see the whole thing as FLAC!