Che-Shizu - A Journey
(Black Editions)

Black Editions, the label dedicated to celebrating some of the great Japanese avant-garde and psychedelic music from the 80s & 90’s via the P.S.F. label, returns with their 4th release: Che-Shizu’s ‘94 masterwork A Journey. There may be no record in the P.S.F. catalog that more epitomizes Hideo Ikeezumi’s dedication to presenting experimental forms of expression with music rich in “kokoro” (heart), then A Journey.
Fronted and conceived in 1981 by Chie Mukai, Che-Shizu is her project through and through. It’s known for her use of the ancient Chinese instrument, the er-hu, which gives A Journey a pastoral and strange ambiance. You’re not going to get any of the blistering guitar of High Rise, or the crude noise shards from the Tokyo Flashbackcomp. There’s more of a post-rock feeling and texture to the arrangements which emit a Godspeed!-like effervescence at times. However, this predates the idea of post-rock! The key to Che-Shizu is their dedication to improvisation which manifests with string drones and somber guitar tones on “Mariam Matrem” and layers of drums, loose electric guitar, Mukai’s stunning er-hu and discordant piano on the final showcase, Parts 1 & 2 of the title track.
Black Editions is presenting A Journey on vinyl for the first time ever with the original Japanese ‘94 release being P.S.F.’s CD edition. Double LP includes new artwork and translations with heavy duty sleeve. A must for Japanese experimental aficionados and for anyone who fell in love with Light In The Attic’s excellent comp Even A Tree Can Shed Tears. (Dom)
Check out a track here.