Friday, 20 November 2009

The Gerogerigegege - Live Greatest Hits (1991)

Doubtlessly this can already be found somewhere in the blogosphere, since pretty much every (major) Gero release has been posted at some place at some point (the only things that have yet to find their way to the web are your typical ultra-limited releases, and some older exclusive releases like the Gero-P tape and the 1985 ZSF tape). Nonetheless, Live Greatest Hits hasn't really, I think, got the attention it so very much deserves, and though I'm quite sure there's a rip somewhere I'm not sure where exactly... so here we are.

The Gerogerigegege barely needs an introduction - or so I hope. Juntaro Yamanouchi, the mastermind behind it all, recorded avidly and without end in the mid to late 80s and throughout a good part of the 90s (though a large part of the 90s releases actually had material on them that was recorded in the 80s), only to disappear ever so suddenly in the early 00s, sparking rumors of death, incarceration, insanity, and so on. The disappearance, however, only contributed to the already existing enigma, and to the myth of The Gerogerigegege. Already the band had established itself as one of the most out-there outfits in the noise scene.

Their output is possibly some of the most varied and simply weirdest in the entire genre: Juntaro was above nothing and was glad to commit anything to tape. As such the discography has some typical noise records (e.g. Nothing to Hear...) and some excellent noisecore recordings (a good part of the 7"s, including their probably best known one, Yellow Trash Bazooka), but also plenty different and stranger things. On Endless Humiliation drunken rambling is layered over distant piano improvisation; Veel Plezier offers a quirky (yes, quirky) mix of Japanese radio drama sounds; other recordings showcase the sounds of taking a dump and the sounds of masturbation. Elsewhere, Juntaro saw fit to appropriate sounds and release them as Gero material, either slightly modified (All My Best...) or even simply as is (split with CSMD; Showa, arguably). The strangeness of it all is clearly what appeals to many, but above all it's doubtlessly Juntaro's knack for simply putting together excellent material, regardless the style, methods, and so on.

Live Greatest Hits is another joy of an album. Though the recordings are live alright, there's little in the way of greatest hits to be found here, of course (what had you expected, really?). Instead, the three live cuts (recorded, respectively, in 1991, 1990, and 1987) offer an excellent (aural) insight into what Gero shows must have been like (the plethora of textual accounts on the web certainly do them justice, but you only start to quasi-experience them when you hear them). The first track ("a tribute to Suicide", says the booklet) consists of some 15 minutes of a drum machine beat which then speeds up a bit and then slows down, running underneath continuous sounds of Gero 30 masturbating furiously, to finally finish with a typical Japanese tear-jerker of a ballad. There's so much to love here; from the piercing screams that here and there interrupt the continuous stream of gasps and moans from Gero 30, to the incredulous reactions from the audience, to the perfect song that wraps it all up. I won't spoil all the fun; it's best to just experience this whole weird thing yourself. If you take offence to homo-eroticism, by all means, best let this one slide, but if you're not adverse to a little gay excitement, here's the record for you.

Clearly OOP of course, as is everything on Vis a Vis, though you can probably find yourself a copy if you search the right distros or keep an eye on Discogs. Good luck finding this fucker!

Lo! (MU again; I'm sorry -121 megs)

Or separate tracks at MF:

1. 1991年3月2日 川崎クラブチッタ
2. 1990年4月4日 ギグホール
3. 1987年1月17日 半蔵門マンション201号

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