Header

WHA-HA-HA

RIO/Avant-Prog • Japan


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Wha-Ha-Ha biography
Wha-Ha-Ha were an experimental/avant-garde Japanese group who recorded three very obscure records in the early 1980's. Very little information exists regarding the history of the group, at least online, so this biography may contain a few inaccuracies and the like.

The original line-up (which remained relatively constant throughout their lifespan) was Shigetoku Kamiya, Shuichi Chino, Mishio Ogawa, Akira Sakata, Shuichi 'Ponta' Murakami, Takafumi Fuse and Kiyohiko Semba. Semba, an eccentric percussionist and composer, seems to be credited as the band's guiding force. Western ears were first given a chance to sample the band's delights in 1982 on a vinyl compilation put out by Chris Cutler's ReR label, taking tracks from all three of the band's original albums: Shinutokiwa Betsu, 1981, Geta Wo Haite Konacuha, also 1981 and Live Dub, 1982.

As for the actual sounds they produced, I'm sure it won't surprise you to learn that they are rather hard to describe. Jazzy rhythms and squonking saxophone are meticulously blended with laid-back dub synths, manic, often wordless female vocals, free jazz piano breaks, and of course a good deal of percussive jiggery-pokery. The result is something delightfully different, refreshing and entertaining. Over twenty years after they were first recorded, the band's work seems revolutionary and strikingly unique, even within the context of avant-prog and RIO.

In recent times, all three individual albums have been reissued by Absorb Japan and are available as imports which, though pricey, are highly recommended to all RIO/avant-prog fans looking for something a bit more creative than another Zappa or Univers Zero clone.

: : : David Beris Edwards (aka Trouserpress), United Kingdom : : :

WHA-HA-HA MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

WHA-HA-HA forum topics / tours, shows & news


WHA-HA-HA forum topics Create a topic now
WHA-HA-HA tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "wha-ha-ha"
Post an entries now

WHA-HA-HA Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to WHA-HA-HA

Buy WHA-HA-HA Music


Live DubLive Dub
Import
Absord Japan 2003
Audio CD$122.08
$68.25 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

More places to buy WHA-HA-HA music online Buy WHA-HA-HA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for WHA-HA-HA DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

WHA-HA-HA shows & tickets


WHA-HA-HA has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

WHA-HA-HA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

WHA-HA-HA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 18 ratings
Shinutokiwa Betsu
1981
3.02 | 9 ratings
Getahaitekonakucha
1981
3.95 | 3 ratings
Live Dub
1982

WHA-HA-HA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WHA-HA-HA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

WHA-HA-HA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WHA-HA-HA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

WHA-HA-HA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shinutokiwa Betsu by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.76 | 18 ratings

BUY
Shinutokiwa Betsu
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Getahaitekonakucha by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.02 | 9 ratings

BUY
Getahaitekonakucha
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The age had the part where a part of the dance music and pop electronic little by little elements were conceived if it thought about the music character of Japan of the 80's. The part of pop increases variety by techno Music's appearance.

The derivation of the item by various musicians and bands had the element exactly revolutionized in the age. The music of Japan of the 80's also exactly faced the time of the revolution. And, musicians were always pulling the kingdom of music with a variegated exchange. The unit and the project that derived in the flow were offering the music uncommonly known as a chemical reaction to some listeners. Of course, this Wha-ha-ha will have been one chemical reaction in the music that had arisen from the performance and the exchange that various musicians had done to which the age had given birth exactly.

Akira Sakata of the Sax player who is acting in the item of Jazz has developed the plan of the band to this Wha-ha-ha in work with Shigetoku Kamiya. And, active Mishio Ogawa in the band that was called "Chakra" was related to this project by chance and it came to participate. And, "Shinutokiwa Bethu" of the album that had been announced on keyboard player's Shuichi Chino was one masterpiece that had arisen exactly in the derivation of various music. It is complex development and a strange part in a variegated sound. And, it is a work still handed down as valuable existence to which variety and different element are taken in the music of Japan.

To finish up the Wha-ha-ha [fu] existence as a more complete part, parties concerned also gave musical help in this 2nd Album. They were hanging originally out "Music is a grand joke" as a slogan that existed in this Wha-ha-ha. However, music was not a joke with low level. An indeed high-quality technology and the calculated composition in 1st album are popular also among an overseas musician.

The impression of the entire tune in addition to a basic part where the methodology of 1st album was shifted to this album as it was will have the part refined further. And, the perfection of the project increases by the performances such as percussionist's Kiyohiko Senba and Bass player's Tamio Kuwabata that participate newly in this album. The tune might be refined if it compares it as an overall impression with 1st album. However, the music that Wha-ha-ha does and the idea are always consistent and offer the listener the originality of this band enough. It is said that Shigetoku Kamiya that satisfies it enough with the content of 1st album was passive to the recording of this album.

"Akatere" has the voice of repeated Mishio Ogawa from the flow of a heavy sound. The melody with unique has an Oriental melody. And, the part of techno is alive and well.

"Chic Tac" is a tune of which the part of the avant-garde of Wha-ha-ha has gone out strongly. The sound of the keyboard that twines intermittently has originality. And, the line and the rhythm of Bass put the impression of the tune. The rhythm of Shuichi Murakami of the participating drum player gives width to the tune of the band as for 1st album. The usage of the wind instrument and the voice will have the unique method.

"Nojari" is a tune that the part in which flamenco twines round an electronic sound. The tune will have the impression and the perfection refined further based on the part of unique to listen in 1st album. However, the avant-garde part has impressions that are the retreats how many as the entire impression of the album.

"Keironohibi" is a tune with the age very much. A variegated sound is given to the theme of the keyboard with unique and original development is shown. It might be a composition in which the impression of the toy chest is given. This tune is a tune that Mishio Ogawa offered Wha-ha-ha for the first time.

"Wha-ha-ha Radio Theatre" might be the compilations of them with whom the music character of Wha-ha-ha is exactly blocked enough. The flow of the tune that breaks the concept of music based on radio programs and is composed might be one part that depends in a merry sport to which Wha-ha-ha exactly went. And, the repeated conversation doesn't make sense from first to last. Speech by Akira Sakata and Mishio Ogawa that twines element of techno and pop and is done. And, the repeated theme. Continuousness of conversation not to do meaning that depends in a merry sport. Part where broadcasting radio was imitated. Voice of traditional festival of Japan. Song with unique by Mishio Ogawa. These elements might already have exceeded the concept of music. Of course, only they will make the tune.

Fred Frith and Chris Cutler also evaluate the music that this Wha-ha-ha did high. And, it is partial where this Wha-ha-ha had a coincidence and inevitability. And, works of men who catch all music as a joke might be one of the chemical reactions to which Japan gave birth exactly.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Shinutokiwa Betsu by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.76 | 18 ratings

BUY
Shinutokiwa Betsu
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Getahaitekonakucha by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.02 | 9 ratings

BUY
Getahaitekonakucha
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

3 stars I've found that there's such a way of approach in the music land. On this point, Geta Haite Konakucha is an interesting work.

Forgive me but I love Akira Sakata's flexible and cleverly crazy saxophone. Listening to one of his albums in his Yosuke Yamash'ta Trio, his improvisatory saxophone aggressively blowing here and there could punch, kick, and knock me completely out. I'm always amazed Akira's play should be as powerful and active as Yosuke's playing piano. Indeed I had very little intention of meeting his aggressive play in Geta Haite Konakucha, but as honestly I say, I was slightly disappointed in this work I could hardly get his fresh kicks. It is not too much to say this album was made by Shigenori Kamiya, a genius synthesizer player, and Mishio Ogawa, a funky female vocalist. I do guess Akira was a supervisor for them, and this supervising was one of his wants in those days (for a good Brother?). A bit exciting thing for me is I can get his hard body-blows in the second track Chic Tac. Wow, THIS VIOLENT SAXOPHONE...Akira's soul! But only here...

However, in fact for him there was no problem about it. On Wha-ha-ha Radio Theatre in the latter half of the album, Akira and Mishio can make a fight with avant-discussing together. I'm sure Akira should be a serious man for music and his play...sometimes he might be so tired from seriously playing out of breath. Oh, yes...this seems to be his leasure or day-off. Of course, people do need a rest in life...he might take it with his musical style. What a serious man! Please give a response with WHA-HA-HA laughing to his seriousness for the music scene!

And another great point is Shigenori's synthesizer sounds should be very wonderful over the whole work. Geta Haite Konakucha is, I consider, one of great avant-techno albums in Japan.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Live Dub by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.95 | 3 ratings

BUY
Live Dub
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Bj-1
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The third release from these unorthodox Japanese's is actually a 23-minute live EP that captures their unpredictability and quirkiness of their first two albums perfectly and demonstrates their humoristic experimentation at its peak. Although being short in length the two tracks included here offers a great range of diversity in their typical peculiar style providing a result that is fascinating but never boring. This time, Wha-Ha-Ha focuses more on improvisation throughout that marks the music with a somewhat darker sound than before, but if you listen carefully you will also hear performances of a few tracks from their debut album, Shinutokiwa Betsu, added among the other melodies, but they still manage to mix them almost unnoticed together with the other musical ideas presented here. The tracks often build themselves up to a climax before starting on a new part but the music still remains unpredictable and absurd. This is probably Wha-Ha-Ha's most avant-garde release, mostly because of the strong improvisational elements that includes weird saxophone honks, silly vocal experimentations and odd free jazz piano breaks, like near the outro on "Inakaki" from their debut.

For those who are wondering, the sound quality, while not quite up to pair with their two first albums, is very good so you can still hear all details going on here. I will not go further in detail how every section sounds musically in fear of spoiling this unique experience for new listeners other than saying that this will surprise you in a way you rarely will stumble over, and this album especially confirms that Wha-Ha-Ha is one of the looniest and unique bands to ever face the avant-garde progressive rock scene. Unfortunately, due to its really low distribution this one is only available as a high price import. An acquired taste, even among people that are interested in this band, but if you loved it's two predecessors, "Live Dub" is definitely worth it. 4/5

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

 Shinutokiwa Betsu by WHA-HA-HA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.76 | 18 ratings

BUY
Shinutokiwa Betsu
Wha-Ha-Ha RIO/Avant-Prog

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"!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Thanks to Joren for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.69 seconds