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Wha-Ha-Ha - Shinutokiwa Betsu CD (album) cover





3.68 | 22 ratings

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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 Franšaise) 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.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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