Sep 28, 2010

Les Rallizes Dénudés. Tachikawa. December 17, 1976.

Despite LRD's explosive aural and visual assault on their audiences, Takashi Mizutani was never a flashy singer, usually sounding instead like a lost spirit on the verge of revelation, wandering in an existential forest of his own making. This must have been a happier night, as White Waking is positively poppish, and even the trademark, brain-scouring levels of white noise are uplifting. There's still plenty of menace, like the way the bass stalks Mizutani throughout Flames of Ice, but even there the crackling guitar lead eventually outstrips it, swelling with light and enveloping the once dark forest.

I've written before about the nihilism of LRD's music, but my point is that it's a benevolent indifference. They would never do anything so gauche as to rock you like a hurricane. Similies are for chickenshits. They are a hurricane, but not metaphorically, either. The kind that sees you leaving with a mic stand blown through your cranium (OK, that may not be benevolent. But you buys your ticket, you takes your chances). Thy're as close as you can get to safely watching elemental catastrophe as performance art.

Like the vast majority of the Rallizes' output, this is of bootleg quality (although they may be the only band for whom that works in their favor), but whoever recorded it must have been sitting in the auditorium's sweet spot. The separation is great, and you can tell the instruments apart for once. It's almost like listening to them in widescreen. The guitar comes through really well, and you can actually hear the notes Mizutani's picking out (I particularly like the spirited run towards the end of Angel). And whoever was playing bass for them that night really knew how to lay that shit down, which is a whole new dimension for them.

The vertiginous, see-sawing Heat Wave—powered by a surprisingly confident, stomping bass line and some great rock drumming—finds Mizutani leading them all to fantastic new heights, thundering along like a herd of naked biker hippies, straight into the sun. It's one of his all-time best moments—the sort of thing that raises the hair on the back of your neck and makes your heart catch in your throat. You know without a doubt that this was one of those songs that took over a crowd, instantly transforming them into a solid, beastly, interconnected mass of head-banging, transcendent abandon. It'll make your soul explode.

Dream finishes things off by melting back into a tense, worrisome, brittle space. A dream askew with shadows and twigs. The forest closes back in, and the white light streamers slither and shake back into the darkness. It's an inversion of where they started with White Waking and the perfect end to the night.


2 Blurts:

Anonymous said...

help me


Anonymous said...

thanks for posting. This is the only download I was able to accomplish. I'm no computer technicican! perhaps you could post decembers' black children and LIVE at SHIBUYA YANEURA May 25 1975. thank you, friend.