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Miminokoto – Hitoyogiri

Important

You might have heard this record before. If you’ve scuttled and scurvied around various Asian cities, found bands playing deep into the night in Ho Chi Minh cocktail bars, Tokyo splatterfest beer halls, Bangkok’s secret lock-ins. You might have stumbled on this band, late late into the evening, their heads down, playing despite you rather than for you, playing because it’s the only thing keeping them up at this late hour. You’ll have seen them through a gauze of over-the-counter codeine, maybe sucked your consciousness through Mai Tais or Red Rums or Saigon Slings or a slew of $3 Long island Iced Teas. You’ll maybe already have been transported by this band, by the hour, by the context.

And therein lies the problem. While Miminokoto are ostensibly part of the ‘classic’ era Tokyo-Underground PSF canon (which was itself patchy, to be honest; occasionally transcendent, sometimes merely noodling and overloud) and mentioned in the same breath as LSD March, their music has been heard before. It’s not got the slowburning grace of LSD March or the propulsive power of High Rise or the blackhole intensity wonder of Keiji Haino. It’s sometimes sprawling, sometimes heavily unwound but it could be by any late night Japanese rock group in any bar. Others could do this, just as well.. It might have that sense of alien otherness to Western ears who’d never experienced this kind of thing before but I’d imagine it could be easily dismissed in Asia or hipster Britain. There’s none of the half turns and sidereality of Acid Mothers Temple (although they share some members) and there’s maybe fifty albums I can think of that do this kind of thing with more abandonment.

In that bar, deep in Bangkok’s business district, the shutters down, the glasses empty, the smell of Mint Juleps and cigarettes in the air, I’d listen and be transported by this music. But here, alone in the dark, the night only just closing in, I’m not going anywhere.

-Loki-

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