Thursday, June 22, 2006

J.A Caesar-Death in the Country['74 Japan Avantgarde "Folk")

do leave comments!
we continue with folk

next week i will have some heavier stuff(Les Rallizes Denudes ect...)

today its J.A. Caesar /J.A Seazer,yes im not lying
lots of people wanted music by him
so here's his album Death in the Country
from 1974,a more "folkish" album,but strange.and very good(imho)
some what reminiscent of the lesser rocking folky parts of the tokyo kid brothers (wich he was in) album
but the track Wasan rocks quite good

there's also an excellent Kan Mikami track(Karasu)
who also has a role in the movie,he's also on some other tracks

J.A. Caesar [a.k.a. J.A. Seazer]
this guy was a graphic design student, who
adopted the name J.A. [Julius Arnold] Caesar
often also found spelled Seazer and even Ceazar
[just to confuse internet searches even further!],
and was known by the late 60's as one of the few 'true hippies'
on the local scene.
He apparently won a competition for hair length!
He gravitated to Shuji Terayama's
Tenjo Sajiki underground experimental theatre company
and despite lack of any previously evident musical talent quickly
became the musical director,
composing and performing the music for most of Tenjo Sajiki's films
and plays. Alongside this, he also staged his own musical 'recitals'.
His music often featured elements of Japanese percussion,
'sekkyobushi narrative music',progressive and psychedelic rock
,raw heavy rock, and other influences as
diverse as Carl Orff and Pierre Henry
[so says Alan Cummings, anyway, on those
last two].
The pick of this bunch is the soundtrack to Terayawa's 1974 film Den'en Ni Shisu (Death In The Country). Described as a fictional autobiography, it tells of a sensitive adolescent poet who later becomes a film director, stuck with his neurotic mother in a rural northern backwater, who dreams of running off first with a neighbour's wife and then with a traveling freakshow. The film's fractured narrative of awakening sexuality and severing of parental bonds is captured in hallucinatory imagery and an equally ambitious soundtrack by JA Caesar, which binds the whole film together with a subtle, subconscious logic. The deployment of disparate elements in an all-consuming flow, which works even independently of the images, is masterly. The familiar psych guitar, organ and choral chanting are heavy enough in places - as on the disc's definitive reading of Caesar's massive and haunting 'Wasan' - to approach Sabbath levels of dense pounding, and there's also a frighteningly visceral vocal turn from folk singer Kan Mikami. But the score also sees Caesar expanding his instrumental palette, scoring some tracks for sideshow brass band or gently plucked guitar, weeping violin and chant. The weird intervals of his sparse, medieval-influenced melodies linger in the memory with the force of nostalgia for a past not directly experienced. It's an amazing performance: from street hippy who'd never picked up an instrument to film soundtrack composer in five years. Caesar's soundtrack for Den'en Ni Shisu lost out by a single vote to Toru Takemitsu for the best film soundtrack of 1974." - Alan Cummings, The Wire.

video taken from the movie:Kan Mikami performing Karasu


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Dirk, this was such a great week — Happy End, San Ul Lim (and also Kim Jung Mi on the technicolor blog). And now this great soundtrack. Have you seen the movie? It's great.

Do you have any other Korean stuff? Both San Ul Lim and Kim Jung Mi are incredible. I've also heard the Pearl Sisters, but that's about it.

Anyway, thanks again.


7:13 PM  
Blogger Dirk said...

i do have a collab by Kan Mikami with some korean people

2:29 PM  
Blogger 巴黎街頭藝人 said...

Excuse me, that I really want to get this album anyway. But I found the links I found on the Internet are all died....
Please help me, thank you very much.

8:39 PM  

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