Sunday, March 8, 2009
Splendor Mystic Solis - Heavy Acid Blowout Tensions (Galactic Zoo Disk/Eclipse, 2003)
Well, I must admit I'm not impartial when discussing these recordings, but let me try and step out of my biases and NOT think of the hot summer of 1999--and an un-air-conditioned/carpet sample lined van, ringleader Nanjo's temper tantrums, TV show appearances, a dude crushing a 40 oz bottle in his hands, gigging with all from Christian Marclay to Fuzzhead, doors kicked in, brawls, snorts, and even rooftop nakedness. Ah, those were the daze.
Well yes, this conglomeration of musicians got together mainly for a Mainliner tour, which intersected with the end of a Ruins tour, and Mainliner-leader Nanjo Asahito wanted to explore his other "concepts," like Okhami No Jikan and Toho Sara, regardless if he had those band members present or not. He also masterminded one-time "supergroup" Splendor Mystic Solis, which featured an amazing caliber of Japanese underground stars--Kawababta Makoto of ye olde Acid Mothers Temple, Musica Transonic, and a zillion other projects; the aforementioned Nanjo Asahito of High Rise prominence; Sasaki Hisashi, then bassist of the Ruins, Shimura Koji , now of AMT as well as former High Rise, White Heaven, etc.; the one young American Plastic Crimewave; and a mysterious young lady known only as "Nana," who I don't think you can even hear on the recordings.
Most nights things exploded into a monumental blistering jam, usually with the same mellower lift-off point. Somehow Ed Hardy at Eclipse got hold of a few recordings from a fan, and some bootleg recordings were spotted (a very typical Nanjo scam) and purchased while in Japan at the legendary Modern Music shop (home to PSF Records). Hearing the concerts later, it was amazing how telepathic some of the "changes" were and how well it all meshed--one couldn't tell who was who (3 guitars will do that) and when played for a respected Japanese-friendly writer at the WIRE magazine, he said it was better than most of Nanjo's releases. So an LP document had to happen, envisioned a bit like that Butterfield Blues Band release that compiled three complete versions of the expansive track, "East/West'--all of them intense, morphing into new stratas, and growing increasingly more complex. The skree here is a bit more full-on though, maybe sounding like Quicksilver on their most dissonant night, or Ash Ra Tempel on "11." The LP was limited to 1000 copies and is way out of print now....
1. Splendor 1 (22:51) 7/17/99 Chicago, recorded by Mike Toole
2. Splendor 2 (14:13) 7/21/99 Detroit, recorded by Nanjo Asahito
3. Splendor 3 (8:33) 7/20/99 Minneapolis, Ed Hardy mystery recording