Mizutani / Les Rallizes Dénudés



Sometime in the early 1970s, a young Japanese radical leftist clad in all black named Takashi Mizutani and his band, Les Rallizes Dénudés recorded some of their only known studio material. Mizutani founded the band in late 1967, and soon thereafter discovered perhaps the most famous cult band of all time, the Velvet Underground, and sought thereafter to emulate White Light / White Heat's pioneering style of noise rock.

As much of which was performed by Mizutani solo rather than with the band, you instead hear a number of quiet, acoustic folk songs rather than the relentless, roaring, cathartic proto-noise rock that the "Radical Music Black Gypsy Band" have become known for on their live bootlegs. There is a lot of dark, melancholic beauty to  this record. 

On 31 March 1970, the band's original bassist, Moriaki Wakabayashi, was involved in a plot with the Japanese Red Army to hijack a domestic Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to Fukokuoka. Originally planning to elope to Cuba, the hijackers found they didn't have enough fuel, so they released the passengers they had held hostage in Seoul, before heading to the notorious "hermit kingdom" of North Korea, where they were hailed as heroes. However, for the band's members back in Japan, their lives were changed forever. A paranoid Mizutani found himself pursued by CIA agents, losing the rest of the original lineup of his band and entering a period of hiding in Tokyo from which he never really emerged. Judging by the recording dates on this thing, it seems that this was likely the backdrop against which this album - especially the solo material - was recorded.

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