That which will happen has long since taken place. It is impossible to make it undone.
After three years Suzuki Junzo returns to Utech Records with If I Die Before I Wake, his fourth full-length release for the label. Junzo is joined by Ikuro Takahashi of LSD March, Kousokuya, Fushitsusha and High Rise. If I Die is a record comprised of roaring space blues and empyrean haze. Nothing less than imposing and exquisite, If I Die is conceivably Suzuki Junzo’s greatest recorded work.
Released initially on cassette, the expanded vinyl adds one unreleased track and offers the two live recordings from the B side of the tape as digital bonus tracks. Bonus tracks recorded live at Fortress Callosum, San Fransisco, CA 21/11/2014.
"Since the turn of the century, Tokyo’s Suzuki Junzo has channelled gentle blues, space rock, and his homeland’s uniquely mental take on freeform psychedelic noise into a momentous body of work, which should see him ranked alongside Japan’s heavyweight cosmic jokers, the likes of Takashi Mizutani, Kawabata Makoto and Asahito Nanjo. The tape label imprint of Hebden Bridge based promoter Was Ist Das? is capping off a killer recent run of releases with If I Die Before I Wake, a stunning addition to Junzo’s discography. Side A contains three lengthy acid jams, recorded in studio with drummer Takahashi Ikuro, who has previously worked with the likes of Kousokuya, Fushitsusha, LSD March, and High Rise to name but a few. The stonking loud nine minute opener, ‘Crossing The Valley Of The Cosmic Death Demons’, truly lives up to the promise of its killer title, with Junzo spinning crazed six-string fireworks over Ikuro’s crazed free time flurries. ‘Les Visiteurs du Soir’ meanwhile, tickles the edges of the atmosphere with strange distant noises, manic percussion rumbles and the sound of Junzo seemingly pulling his guitar to pieces, reconstituted and warped through delay effects, sounding very like the freakiest moments in Germany’s history of music for acid eaters. The title track follows too, bringing side A to an unsettling close as a myriad of cymbal washes and atonal guitar drones consume the stereo field like wildfire for twelve horrifying minutes.
The flipside contains a solo Junzo show recorded at the Fortress Callosum in San Francisco last year. Junzo coerces galaxies of colour from his guitar for the instrumental first 20 minutes. Beautiful plucks sing into reverb chambers, squealing shards of feedback amass and slowly grow into blunter sonic instruments, and shaky storm clouds engulf all in attendance as Junzo freaks out. The closing seven minutes segue into a gothic bluesy death hymn titled ‘4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio’ (presumably after Dario Argento’s 1971 movie of the same name about a musician stalked by a murderer). Simply put, this tape is one of the finest documents of dark psychedelia and blues-riddled noise in existence."
Tristan Bath on TheQuietus
Originally released via Cassette.
Cassette Limited edition of 70 copies
Release DATE, June 25 2015
Suzuki Junzo : Electric Guitars, Acoustic 12 strings Guitar, Vocal
Takahashi Ikuro : Drums (on Track A1-3)
Richard Horner : Delays
Track 1.2.3,4 is recorded at Black Snow Flake Sound, Sapporo/Hokkaido March to
Recorded by Richard Horner
Track 5.6 is recorded live at Fortress Callosum, San Fransisco, CA 21/11/2014
Recorded by Dax Tran-Caffe
All Songs are Mixed at Black Snow Flake Sound by Richard Horner
All Songs are composed by Suzuki Junzo
Produced by Suzuki Junzo