The Kansai based noise band Hijokaidan, come with the first ever vinyl reissue of Modern, originally released on 1989 in CD format. Resting at a fascinating juncture between space-harsh progressive, impro and noise, it was years ahead of its time when it first appeared becoming one of the great holy grails of Japan noise. Creatively thrilling – filled with emotive highs and lows – it’s a crucial piece in the puzzle of Japan’s wild and wonderful history of noise music.
The core of the band revolves around the trio Jojo Hiroshighe, Junko and Toshiji Mikawa with sporadically the participation of various artists both for live performances and for studio recordings. On this vinyl shows up in the classic three-person line-up leading the way to one of the best reissues among offerings of their incredible discography.
Modern double vinyl LP, carving out uncharted territory between Faust and mid-70s Soft Machine, pushed improvisation into a near undefinable realm. The sound of Hijokaidan subverts and deconstructs; hits you, not like an avalanche, but like a prolonged electrical discharge on neuromuscular receptors: the most visceral and buried side of the noise is hidden in Jojo‘s pick-ups, in Junko‘s voice and in the extraordinary as well as exceptional object of Toshiji called ‘’the Mikawa’’.
Across the four sides of vinyl, comprising a sole one works, Hijokaidan stretches out, laying down cycling fuzz rhythms and guitar feedback lines that channel the modalism of John Coltrane and hypnotic psychedelia, before embarking upon scream excursions into the outer realms. Incorporating a playful, pop sensibility, without sacrificing its temperaments of violence and extremism, takes on a terrific vision of organized sound; a notion of the avant-garde which falls far closer to its inception as a structured music, than were it has often historically strayed.
Exquisitely pressed with fully remastered for this vinyl edition by Nobuki Nishiyama, that bring as well as possible on analogue format the stunning original audio master, and released in a beautiful double LP gatefold to fully enjoy the amazing photos formerly featured on the CD, with the iconic group photo reprinted inside the gatefold and the baffling close-up on the back.
As essential and historically significant as archival releases, Modern is truly incredible from start to finish, so immerse yourself in this final exploration of one of the longest continually existing and the most fascinating noise bands that ever was. Available in an edition of just 299 copies, this one isn’t going to sit around for long. Easily among 2021’s most essential releases, grab it while you can.