Hijokaidan: Music For Psychological Liberation

An excellent excerpt, here, from Kansai TV in 1994, hosted by Alice Sailor, one-time member of new wave group Amaryllis, and David Hopkins, who ran the Public Bath label for a while, and is currently publishing a number of worthwhile books on Japanese music – recent titles have focused on Japanese independent music, outsider folk legend Kan Mikami, and enka. Hijokaidan rose from the Japanese punk scene, forming in 1979 out of leader Jojo Hiroshige’s outfits, Ultra Bide and Rasenkaidan. The self-appointed ‘King of Noise’, Hiroshige might well be the most significant figure in Japanese noise, not only for the deliriously uneasy music and performance of Hijokaidan, but also for his long-running Alchemy record label and store, not to mention his unique, neck-throttling approach to the guitar. Like Hanatarash, their performances were often scandalous – urinating on stage, garbage and raw fish thrown around the venue, lights and equipment destroyed – but there was an exhilarating tension to the music, something that’s never really let up, particularly when vocalist Junko joined, whose high-pitch, screamed vocals are Hijokaidan’s most unrelentingly dead-on, viscerally thrilling weapon.