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Wha-Ha-Ha Shinutokiwa Betsu album cover
3.69 | 24 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Inanaki (3:26)
2. Whaha whaha (4:38)
3. On the floor (7:24)
4. Tactics (3:59)
5. My happiness (is not yours) (6:05)
6. Kohmori (6:26)
7. Rice and soy (3:50)
8. Zoo (4:51)

Total Time: 40:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Shigetoku Kamiya / guitar
- Shuichi Chino / keyboard
- Mishio Ogawa / vocals
- Akira Sakata / saxophone, vocals

Guest musicians:
- Shuichi Murakami / drums
- Takafumi Fuse / computer sound performance

Releases information

Re-released by Absorb in 2003

Thanks to Trouserpress for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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WHA-HA-HA Shinutokiwa Betsu ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

WHA-HA-HA Shinutokiwa Betsu reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wha-Ha-Ha's debut album is really a standout, even within the avant-garde genre.

Wha-ha-ha was a fairly unknown and highly experimental band heading from Japan in the early 80's and released a few albums which sadly haven't got the attention they really deserve at all. Even avant-garde enthusiasts like myself didn't even heard of this band until they were added here in the archives, and Im really glad I discovered them considering their awesomely strange, wacky and plain weird music that really can make people wonder what really was the point with this? Well, I can answer with that albums like this weren't created to be understood, but to be confused of, but in a structured and well-made way. This is their debut album and I can safely say that this is some of the most absurd and less serious stuff I've heard in a while. It displays the dadaism of The Residents together with the wacky humor of Samla Mammas Manna in a surprisingly fresh-sounding and modern style, and the result is wonderfully meanlingless but very original and creative at the same time. It's not music that is easy to appreaciate during the first spins and is most easily digestable if you already like some of the more weird avant-prog stuff out there, but it will definitely grow on you.

The music itself is incredibly diverse with several different influence sources and elements of Jazz, cartoon music and even New-Age are present but the music mostly remains as avant-garde though not really in the traditional way. As said, this is very unserious and cartoonish music (with a few surprising exceptions in "Kohmori" and "Tactics") and it rather deals with putting different ideas together in the silliest possible way instead of leaning more into classical and jazz soundscapes, and it works extremely well too. The musicianship fairly good with Shuichi Chino's keyboards being the biggest contribution to the album's silly sounds such as burbling synth parts and electronic influenced dada sounds, together with the saxophone which adds a delightful RIO flavor to the music in spots. The vocalist, Mishio Ogawa, also contributes well with some really silly vocals, but she can also be serious and sing really beautifully when needed, "Kohmori" being the best example on this. The production is excellent and you can hear all instruments clearly and they're accurately balanced as well, an extra plus for people who are a bit touchy in that area.

A crazed 40-minute journey overall and some of the most creative but bizarre stuff I've heard in ages together with bands like Fantômas, The Residents and Myrbein. I think this an excellent album and it's very interesting and exciting throughout, yet I can't recommend this one to anyone but the most open minded people around, or for those who are just plain nuts themselves. So not a perfect 5, but it really deserves a 4.5!

Highlights; "On The Floor", "My Happiness (is not yours)" and "Kohmori"!

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars Shigenori Kamiya that took charge of the synthesizer had worked with SAX player's Akira Sakata before this album was produced. Akira Sakata is a person to whom the name is known well by Jazz Scene of Japan. Trio also performed to Akira Sakata in foreign countries.

And, it was a musician to whom Shunichi Chino had been taken an active part by the rock band of Japan, too. They will share the activity of music by chance. The musician who acted Avant-Pop of Japan had various flows of the music character etc. where the band that intentionally advanced the music character was born flowing and by chance.

Situation in which musician shares music by chance and idea is constructed. Or, the background in the age when the music was achieved might be important. Often, music with the power of being not able to reproduce the same music again might be likely to be born.

This band that adopted Mishio Ogawa that happened to be in the place of the production of music as Vocal worked on music by chance with the idea and the humour indeed calculated. Or, this might be suitable people for calling the group of not the band but heterodoxy music. The existence never continued by contraries though they did the tour and live at that time.

"Inanaki" keeps the dash feeling by the melody with an unnatural song and the humour of Mishio. The element of Free Jazz also had originally taken Akira Sakata in Jazz Scene. The humour is taken to them and the tune ends in an uneasy piano part. By the way, there is a tune that is called "Inanaki 2nd" in the tune that Trio of Akira Sakata did. However, the tune is complete Free Jazz.

It will be able to be discovered that the music that this group does is music indeed calculated if it listens to "Whaha Wahaha". Element of techno and POP that appears in age in addition to Music's world till then to which Akira Sakata had gone. They are indeed cool. The tune ends keeping call out the name of a song. The inorganic element is valuable.

"On The Floor" expresses the flow of Avant-Pop of Japan in the 80's well. A perfect scat of Mishio is completely corresponding to the tune from an irregular start. The unison of six group notes is cool. The element of Jazz of Akira Sakata unites well though the element of techno considerably spread to Japan at that time of this. Mishio Ogawa has already been called a person who was popular also in the world of Jazz Scene.

"Tactics" shifts from the melody of the harmonica to a cappella of Mishio Ogawa. The sound of irregularity is consistent and the flow of the album is not changed. This tune is a coincidence and an industry that the age invited.

The sound of a thin keyboard of "My Happiness" has succeeded in this album, too. It puts and it advances to Loddy of ..a few avant-garde.. [me]. A dynamic chorus twines with Sax, progresses, and interrupts suddenly. Fanfare of dynamic a cappella after dialog said, "Dying is another event". The song of the girl of Mishio Ogawa contributes.

"Kohmori" can be translated into "Bat". The situation in which Sax twines round the melody of the Orient with a beautiful chorus might be necessary for composing this album. The background in the age when this album was produced might be able to be felt exactly.

We even Japanese do not understand the meaning to lyrics of "Rice&Soy". However, an inorganic a little flow by rhythm Box and member's song are irregularly intertwined with the humour and advance. This is music that a coincidence and the inevitability that Japan at that time made cohabit.

"Zoo" that decorates the end of the album is a suitable tune in the end of the album, too. The album-quality is never dropped. It puts on the rhythm of the condition of reggae and it advances. An unstable melody will consistently feel the theme of the album.

A lot of bands of techno and POP that takes them exist also in Japan. Music will be expressed with each individuality and the differentiation be attempted. In the existence of Avant-POP of Japan exactly, Music whom "Wha-ha-ha" did is valuable person. It is said that Chris Cutler and Jim O 'Rourke also supported the music of Wha-ha-ha. The band that ..their Music character.. follows doesn't appear.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Weird Japanese RIO/Avant prog group from the 80's, this is their debut of this project - a computer-performing quartet including a pianist, a drummer and a percussionist. Behind a rather schizophrenic artwork (mostly white, but about colours) reflects fairly well the insanity you will find on this slice of

Off to a superb start from electronic layers and noises and drum rolls, Inanaki soon transform into a fast riff, demented female Japanese vocals, crazy sax break and goes dissonant and improvised in its last third, before returning to the delicious intro, but as an outro. Crazy stuff. The eponymous WHH track starts on bruitages before a demented rhythm and vocals. In some ways, one thinks about Zappa, but a lot less conventional music and even more unpredictability. The album-longest On The Floor is another weirdo, the vocals reminding you of Art Bears' Daghmar Krause on acid (hell forbid) and ending in a credible version of your Cd deck going bezerk and have you checking if the cables and plugs are still tight and present. Tactics has an accordion (ala Française) intro before veering Tomita-like in their electronica with added piano, bass and layers. In the following tracks, the madness doesn't ease up, even if the surprises are fewer, because you're now getting accustomed to it. The closing Zoo is a jazzy WHH pieces, taking a stroll between the animals in the cages.

Another one of these "must-be-heard to be believed-in" albums, but I'm not sure most would like to take it home for good. This is typically the kind of album I love to know will be available at my library system whenever I feel like listening to it, but I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it (other than renting it) and having it taking shelf space. Not my cup of tea, but the discovery was quite interesting and someday, in a decade or so, I know I'll rent it again.

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