December 30, 2011

Chiko Hige x Kaoru Sato + Chiko Hige x Kaoru Sato 12" (1985)

I mentioned this record by Chiko and Kaoru in the earlier EP-4 post, where I linked to its original blog progenitor  Music is a Better Noise. The link there has since expired, so I hope min min won't mind I proffer here with love and spaghetti for good friend F. Strap, Esq.

Just to rehash: Chiko Hige played the drums and sax, first in the early 70s avant-garde ensemble 3/3. He and bandmate Reck then moved to New York, where Chiko played in The Contortions. Reck played with Lydia Lunch in Teenage Jesus & the Jerks. Eventually they both moved back to Japan and formed Friction, a crazy band with a crazy deam. Chiko Hige released solo material as well: the Killer Wood 12" (1982)—which I would love to hear—and Trap (1985). 

Kaoru Sato recorded RNA Organism (1980) when he was 19, releasing just the one LP and a compilation track. He started EP-4 around the same time, and also served as producer for some of the wildest 80s underground groups in Japan, free of charge when necessary.

This eponymous collaboration really bears the influence of both musicians equally. Hige played drums, bass, and sax; Sato contributed vocals, noise, and percussion. The lyrics are all taken from Taro Tominaga, a 20th-century poet influenced by Baudelaire.

• For fellow Kaoru Sato fanatics, I may or may not have found an EP-4 twitter feed? @mEssed_uP_4

チコヒゲ +

December 14, 2011

Out of Blue (2002)

Zarina Bhimji is an artist and filmmaker of Ugandan-Asian heritage living and working in London. She made this 16mm film for Documenta 11 (a lecture from which this Manuel De Landa post was borne). Bhimji looks to create an "architecture of the internal," haunting empty rooms and locations filled with the inference of life. Out of Blue explores violence on the periphery of war-torn Uganda. I am particularly attracted to Bhimji's use of sound: screaming insects, chants and radio broadcasts, marching feet, and burning grass provide the narrative for evocative, almost still, images of destruction. But while war is the ultimate conclusion, life still teems and threatens to take over. The film inevitably recalls the days of Idi Amin Dada. In 1972, following a dream he had, Idi Amin expelled the entire Asian immigrant population from Uganda. Most of them were Gujarati Indians who originally settled there more than a century before. Bhimji and her family were among those given 90 days to leave or face probable genocide.

Watching this video in full screen with headphones is highly recommended.