Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Onion Cellar Presents: Legendary Japanese Noise Rockers Zeni Geva Invade Saigon!



The Onion Cellar presents...

28/7/2013 - 19:30
Darts Club – 224A Pasteur - HCMC

Presale: 150K VND (available NOW from DARTS CLUB – open everyday from 6PM ‘til late)
Doors: 200K VND

*All ticket purchases include 1 FREE DRINK at the show



Before it became hip and trendy to like bands from Japan there were a handful of artists from this country pushing the sonic envelope, de-constructing and then re-building ‘music’ and were, in general, part of a new vanguard of noise makers. One such pioneering group of innovators is ZENI GEVA (roughly translated as ‘someone who would do anything to get money’), whose current line-up includes Kazuyuki Kishino (guitars, vocals, Kaoss-pad) – one of Japan’s most well-known ‘noise terrorists’ alongside Merzbow and Keiji Haino; and Tatsuya Yoshida (drums, Kaoss-pad) – ‘master drummer of the Japanese underground’.


One of Japan's more eccentric and intriguing extreme music exports ever since the late '80s and the '90s, self-professed progressive hardcore duo ZENI GEVA fuses elements of death metal, hardcore, industrial music, noise rock, progressive rock and avant-garde music, gaining no small underground recognition in the process while getting described as ‘Motorhead meets King Crimson’ and recording/collaborating with the legendary studio engineer Steve Albini (who has been producing records for all sorts of luminaries of alternative music: Nirvana, Pixies, MONO, Neurosis, Slint, Shannon Wright, Melt-Banana, etc). 

In 2009, second original drummer Tatsuya Yoshida (who was part of ZENI GEVA in 1989/1990 and contributed to their debut album “Maximum Money Monster”) came back and brought with him even more complexity and hyper energy. As they continue to create and innovate, ZENI GEVA remains in the forefront of this still-emerging global scene of underground outfits.


KK NULL (real name : Kazuyuki Kishino) is one of the top names in Japanese noise music and in a larger context, one of the great cult artists in experimental music since the early 80′s.

In 1981 KK NULL studied at Butoh dancer Min Tanaka’s ‘Mai-Juku’ workshop and started his career by performing guitar improvisations in the clubs of Tokyo. He continued by collaborating with Merzbow for two years, and joining the band YBO2 (with Masashi Kitamura, chief editer of Fool’s Mate magazine and Tatsuya Yoshida, drummer of RUINS) and various other projects of the underground scene.

In the early 90′s he gained world-wide recognition as the mastermind, guitarist and singer of the progressive hardcore band ZENI GEVA.

After playing the guitar as his main instrument for nearly thirty years, KK NULL has gradually moved towards a more electronic approach. He has concentrated his efforts on exploring the outer territories of electronica, creating intense clashing waves of noise, structured electro-acoustic ambience, broken down rhythms, scattered pitch sculptures (for installations), droning isolationist material which could be described as ‘cosmic noise maximal/minimalism’.

                                         RUINS ALONE (JAPAN)

A one-man performance that has to be seen to be believed.

Without a doubt, Tatsuya Yoshida has been one of the most important drummers of the Japanese music scene since the final decades of the 20th century, having spearheaded at least a half dozen of that country's most important groups. Perhaps best-known among these would be RUINS: this group's unique basic instrumentation of drums and bass was no less than a palace revolt against the established role of the rhythm section. 

RUINS plays a unique form of manic and twisted progressive rock. Bandleader/drummer/singer Yoshida credits such diverse influences as progressive rock stalwarts Magma, Pink Floyd, Gong, King Crimson, Yes, classical composers like Chopin, and traditional throat singing from Tuva. Though these influences often come through in the RUINS sound, there is no mistaking RUINS for anyone else. Many RUINS compositions employ odd time signatures, sudden tempo changes, and passages of heavily processed noise. Vocals are meant to be nonsensical (and that's how they sound) and are usually improvised, as are portions of the songs. The overall sound is chaotic yet precise, noisy yet harmonious, catchy yet repelling, frenetic yet disciplined.

After the departure of fourth bassist Hisashi Sasaki, Tatsuya Yoshida forged on with RUINS as a solo act, performing live as RUINS ALONE and releasing the album Alone in 2011. RUINS ALONE has no bassist - Yoshida samples and synthesises sounds to accompany his ballistic drumming and singing, using elements of everything from sheer noise to disco and pop. 



COCC is a Saigon-based indie/psych-rock trio whose amazing debut album “6 Giờ” (2011) deserves much much more recognition. Here is what they have to say about themselves:

“Phuc started a band with his friends to play cover tunes from Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Beatles, and whatever they can do to satisfy his thirst for Rock ‘n’ Roll. Called themselves "Hero in Danger", how arrogant? Everyone except for Phuc, all left to better greener grass, Phuc got pissed and wrote a bunch of original songs. Cuong and Quoc somehow walked into a wrong meeting and got 'con' into the band playing bass and drum for Phuc. They got pissed and called the band ‘COCC’, how appropriate? Anyway, with no money, they decided to record their songs with a laptop and used the toilet as a recording studio. To make the short story shorter, COCC has a new CD out and playing live shows around Saigon, Vietnam. Ok support your local Vietnamese band.” 



A Japanese band in modern day Saigon. 5 musicians – 3 males, 2 females. Instruments: guitar,
saxophone, cello, keyboard/vocals, drums. Influences: the guitar player’s main influences are hardcore punk and ska hardcore, the saxophonist’s: swing jazz, the cellist’s: the Japanese singer-songwriter KAN, the keyboardist/singer’s: anarcho punk and a legion of riff-oriented bands – Captain Beyond, The Stooges, Merciful Fate, the drummer’s: all jazz giants, also – John Cage.

What could possibly be the end result of such meeting of minds and musical influences and instruments? We don’t really know – this is going to be the debut performance of this (super)group consisting of regular figures in the Japanese music scene in Saigon. One thing for sure, whether playing free jazz in the clubs of Koenji or unleashing endless sonic attacks of weird-out psychedelic dubstep-influenced noises at Café Oto and other venues across east London, or, indeed, gradually building up a whole scene of music in Saigon (whose focal point is none other than the superb Darts Club) - you could always count on Japanese musicians everywhere and anywhere for eye-opening surprises and shocks (after all, just look at the headliners of this show). In STRIPED COBRA’s own words: “We don’t play relaxing music”. 


And for those in Hanoi....

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