Les Rallizes Denudes - The OZ Tapes (2022)

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50 years ago, Takashi Mizutani and his bunch of fellow Japanese ruffians hung out at OZ, a cafe and live performance venue in the heart of Toyko’s Kichijoji neighborhood.

This is a recording, lost for many years, of LRD at OZ in 1972.

The frantic, slightly unhinged guitar playing, the wonderfully lethargic rhythm section, and the blues-inflected Japanese vocals, creates a truly alien experience.

Amongst the dirge and chaos, there are also true gems like “Memory is Far Away”, a moment of sensitivity and reflection. All the better for being in a completely foreign-to-me, language.

Along with Fishmans, and the late, truly great Ryuici Sakamoto, these are my new Japanese Heroes.

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