Welcome! ようこそ!

I set up this blog to hopefully introduce those outside Japan to some of Japan's best music and a taste of Osaka and Kyoto's thriving underground music scene.

Alot of what I post will be CDR's and CD's sold by bands on the Kyoto/Osaka live circuit. Hopefully giving a little exposure to the bands outside Japan. The rest will be Japanese bands from pretty much any and every generation and genre. From 60's Rock'n'Roll and folk to 00's noise and electronica.

If anyone has an issue with me uploading their music please contact me and I'll remove the links immediatley. My intention is to introduce this music to new audiences. So please help support these bands by buying their releases or catching them live if you have the opportunity. Alot of these guys are working full time jobs on top of making great music. Please send comments, complaints, recommendations and seasonal greetings to stinkinhippy@hotmail.com

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Friction - Atsureki (フリクション - 軋轢)

Time for another classic. Friction are one of Japan's most influential underground bands and have a long and complex history deserving of a band of such legendary status. The members first emerged as young teenagers in the early 70's Tokyo hippy commune band  Circle Triangle Square (Maru Sanakaku Shikaku) and then went on to form their own band 3/3 (sanbun no san). The band recorded a self-titled LP under the 3/3 moniker that sadly only made it as far as 10 original test pressings but more on that in the above post. By the late 70's the members upped shop and headed to the holy mecca of New Yorks underground no-wave scene where they joined the lineup of Teenage Jesus And The Jerks and then shortly after became original founding members in James Chance And The Contortions. The band then returned to Japan and formed the no-wave inspired Friction. After releasing a few singles and live recordings and earning a fierce reputation on Tokyo's late 70's punk scene the band were discovered by legendary YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) member Sakamoto Ryuichi who produced the bands first studio album which you see here "Atsureki" and was released in 1980.
So with the biography out of the way what about the music?

Well the band fused New Yorks avant-garde no-wave scene with its more accessible counterpart new-wave punk. Friction strike a nice balance between no-waves grittier, rougher more abrasive moments with the dancebility and directness of new-wave. Think Joy Division meets Big Black meets the Sex Pistols and the Contortions. In short "Atsureki" is a superb album that still sounds as potent today as when it was released over 30 years ago. Shortly after "Atsureki" the band line-up changed but continued under the name Friction and went on to produce several other follow-up albums. They may be worth seeking out but to me none of them come anywhere close to the greatness and sound the band had on their debut.


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