Monday, June 13, 2011

Les Rallizes Denudes - Live 1972

Field of Artificial Flowers/Unknown/White Awakening/Fantastique/Flames of Ice/ The Last One

Theoretically, this is from somewhere in Japan in 1972 consisting of Mizutani, a bassist and a drummer (if you hear another guitar let me know).

A heavily un-documented period of Rallizes, this was described to me as having a heavy Hawkwind vibe when i first got it - dont know about that so much - dont think Mizutani was jamming that inbetween Vincebus Eruption and White Light/White Heat but who really knows.

If i had a economy of words to describe this recording it would be DRUNK - what was the bassist drinking that night (Absinthe?)- i want some. This is a patchy affair that ranks highly for some outrageous raging parts and just turgidly for the turgid parts as would be expected. First and foremost the sound of this audience recorded wonder - BASSFULL - I think this one beats out a lot of Rallizes recording for pure bass levels overtaking everything except the drums, which for once are also up front and center - Les Rallizes Dubnudes anyone? So instead of an onslaught of electric guitar screech, ye have the heavy rhythm version of sounds pounded out into your inner psyche with the guitar fighting to break through the mud walls.

This show stumbles in with reckless abandon out of the gates with Field of Artificial Flowers - a flower in the cap of the Rallizes songbook- and a great disoriented high energy version of it - hard driving rock riffage phase-shifted into the galaxy with flubbed bass notes filling the spatial voids as the drums pound pound pound away. It sounds like a wild pack of dogs assaulting a tree made of steel with Mizutani shouting the charge. Lets say this is after 4 beers for the bassist.

A quick tape flip blurt and we have an even drunker sounding Unknown song (although the bass line is from something - anyone?)- more missed bass notes in this ballad as it rolls turgidly along - a tape flip in the middle eases us into a short feedback blurt to round the song out - sounds like after 8 beers to me.

Another quick tape flip into feedback until White Awakening comes balladering in - drums front and center - a perfectly nice version until the feedbacker guitar shrieks in with some tastefull post-Lou soloing. Minor chord progression stumble along with the bass until he just falls down or something - i mean playing ballads on bass - cmon, keep it together - sounds like 12 beers.

A minor guitar tuning and tape flip and WAZAAM - apparently some amphetamine was available and just lookout - that bassist is all of a sudden the nastiest, most malevolent high energy bassist on earth - launching into Fantastique which is some rama lama cross between Black To Comm and Smoking Cigarette Blues, bass notes throbbing with the drums reaching maximum velocity (beating the crap out of them like he MEANS it) as the guitar leaves the earthly realm coated in white noise and phased distortion - the kind of freak out track that rarely escapes from Mizutani and company - the multiple tape garbles only show us the fastest rate to which their throb accelerated during the improvisation. It builds and builds and builds and builds until all matter had been used up - which prompts a blurting false start of . . .

Flames of Ice which then descends, slowing down even more to a Parson Sound like pace for the HEAVIEST version of this song - seriously heavier than a bag of buildings. Its all Sabbath dub bass with a guitar trying to pierce its veil from 400 yards away - an evil raga slower than molasses. Mizutani is even singing in tune to please the ancestors he is breaking the earth open to communicate to. Definitely a top version of this song from all of Rallizes recordings - tape cuts and all.

Another blurt squirt tape flip cuts the song straight into a lively The Last One - that fat heavy bass is still there but the whole thing turgidly poops out towards the end - a great industrial stone turns into playdoh as bass notes are missed perpetually (guess it was time for 10 more beers) and then right in the middle it cuts out.  Zip - done. 30 Min. of Rallizes vintage 1972 destruction.

Overall its a fun listen with all the tape glitches/flips/blurts making it like a mixtape of the best moments of raging hormone side of the group and their apparent drunken turgidity (for balance, y'know) - It would be nice if some enterprising fellows would release some other earlier period work for context, but really when its as good as that Fantastique and version of Flames of Ice, i dont need too much more evidence - 6/10 - PD

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