Thursday, April 19, 2007
J.A Caesar (aka J.A. Seazar) is a name that should be well familiar to those who are already head over heels into Japan's musical avant-garde. He has directed the music for numerous stage shows, movie soundtracks, and has been long associated with the long running experimental group Tenjousajiki, as well as the amazing Tokyo Kid Brothers group.
This is a live recording from one of Tenjousajiki's mixed media plays from the late 70's. Like many of J.A. Caesar's other productions from this time period, this recording contains elements of a few different styles. Hard heavy rock, soaring operatic vocals, gently plucked traditional Japanese instruments, and bizarre balladry all intertwine with the spoken dialogue of the play.
The name of this particular production is entitled Shintokumaru which doesn't really translate into a tangible phrase; but broken down it could be communicated as BODY/POISON/SHIP. It's tough for me to gather exactly what the play was about but it seems to have some sort of religious connotations and some themes about a preacher and a mother and child.
This is fascinating stuff and a unique work of dramatic art. Fans of Magma, Koenjihyakkei, or any of Toshi Ichiyanagi's early works should be intrigued.
Shintokumaru was recorded live at Kinokuniya Hall, Tokyo Japan on July 24th, 1978.
High Recommendation for this one!