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11 Jun 2016

Jun Kamikubo “Nothingness” 1972 上久保ジュン* – サンフランシスコの奇跡 Japan Heavy Blues Rock


Jun Kamikubo “Nothingness” 1972 上久保ジュン* – サンフランシスコの奇跡  excellent Japan Heavy Blues Psych Rock.
full album
The most rarest JAPANESE BLUSY HEAVY PSYCH LP, Like Shinki Chen, however rarer than SHINKI CHEN SOLO LP, SPEED GLUE&SHINKI 2LPs, TOO MUCH, FAR OUT etc… Really rare Japanese psych LP!
In 1972, the guitarist Jun Kamikubo released one LP, entitled NOTHINGNESS, on the Toshiba Express record label. Contained within its grooves were several extremely average sub-sub-sub- Mountain/Cream blues rock workouts artistically somewhat equivalent to the kind of decrepit hash that the Welsh band Man were serving up throughout the 70s, but even less charming and containing none of the stupid Man titles that some say they find appealing. In 2002CE, the NOTHINGNESS LP was re-released by the obscure record specialist label Shadoks in a hefty cardboard sleeve and sold for a large sum of money, thereby giving early buyers a chance to smugly tout it to those who came too late to score their own copy. Me? I send it back to Freak Emporium and demanded (and received) my money back. However, this record is one to avoid, being neither outrageously free-rock and clod-hopping in the Leigh Stephens-period Blue Cheer style nor inept behemothballs-of-fire in the KISS ALIVE-stylee, and we never would have even heard of this moreley achieving Dadrock slush had not several should-know-betters of the underground touted it around and proclaimed it as being in some way relevant and therefore important. Music is not legendary merely because you cant get hold of a copy. Beware!.... Julian Cope...


Name of Jun Kamikubo was not known in music circles until 2002 when LP was firstly reissued on Shadoks label and on Japanese Disk Union two years later. 
This album is the only in artist's discography. I know that Kamikubo, before releasing his solo, was a frontman of band called Kubo from Hiroshima and I don't know what he did after "Nothingness" was released. And as for album - it is pretty well hard/blues-rock with romantic mood and, want to say, bass guitar which is stand out in record. Album is from this kind: "you like it very much or you hate it" ...


Jun Kimikabo's sole work, Nothingness is a bit reminiscent of Blue's Creation's Demon & Eleven Children album. That is, a mix of blues and heavy psych. There's also some naive '60's style pop, awesomely drenched in fuzz and stock organ, and yes, they had to throw in an "I got the blues reeeeaaal bad"song for protocol, and even a Greatful Dead kinda Truckin' type number. A diverse album that represents a compendium of the U.S.A.'s 1960's scene. Through a Japanese filter of course...


I wonder what type of weed was prevalent in Japan around this time. It must have been potent, because there's a certain downer feel to the heavy records produced in the country that has a flavor all it's own. I mean, as this album gets going with "Getting Into the Ecstasy," that is one seriously, almost barbituate pace and feel we've got going here. The material isn't always that strong, but the balance of heavy to weak tracks is pretty strong. Recording however is pretty bad, and the vocals could be a lot better. I do like the farty, Jack Bruce-like bass sound though. 
Jun Kamikubo's sole work Nothingness reminds me quite a bit of the Blues Creation's Demon & Eleven Children album. That is, a mix of blues and heavy psych. There's also some naive 60s styled pop, awesomely drenched in fuzz and old-stock organ. And yes, they had to throw in a "I gots the blues-real-bad, yeaaa I do" song per protocol. And even a Grateful Dead-ish "Truckin'" type number. So a diverse album that represents a compendium of the USA's 1960s scene. Through a Japanese filter. Works for me..


From 1972 is an absolutely fantastic heavy blues rock album with plenty of other elements added in: psychedelia, soul, jazz. One of my favorite Japanese blues-rock LPs ever, this sadly often overlooked gem is packed with especially strong songwriting, excellent musicianship, and a way above average production which gives the album a very unique vibe. 
The album is filled to the brim with very electric blues guitar work in the vein of Freddie King, Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, Leslie West (MOUNTAIN), etc. Some of the songs are quite heavy (making it of interest to fans of early Japanese heavy rock groups like BLUES CREATION, DEW, FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND, etc.), while others have a more pure R&B sound. In some ways JUN KAMIKUBO kind of were Japan's version of MOUNTAIN at times (though you won't hear a single Mountain rip-off or stolen riff and there are many differences between the legendary U.S. power-trio and these Japanese masters). The songs are very dynamic with some tunes incorporating screaming guitar with rad almost laid back organ-driven soul and very groovy bass lines. There's also some very rockin' well-used piano at times. The vocals on this album are quite strong and among the best of early 70's rock from Japan. None of the songs are ballads, though some of the songs contain segments which are mellow in a stoned out post-blues way. The songwriting is often quite catchy, blending a blues approach with pop hooks. There's also plenty of spacey fx to keep the listener interested. 
Sadly, this was the lone release by JUN KAMIKUBO. It's hard to believe this album is a debut due to the facts that the production, performances, and general flow and consistency of the album is so good. Which brings me to the album's biggest drawback: it's the only JUN KAMIKUBO LP! This is a record which more than warranted a follow-up. Sadly this was not to be... 
Instead we're left with this lone artifact of this awesome band. Thankfully, this is one of those albums which can be listened to many, many times without losing its impact. I've also found myself still noticing new aspects to this entertaining, dynamic album even after years of listens. 
In the end "Nothingness" proves just how quickly Japanese musicians picked up the blues-rock idiom in the 60's to the point where albums like this are actually superior in many ways to some much more well-known and famed UK/US groups of the early 70's. "Nothingness" can serve as a total party record or just a kickass record to sit back, take a few puffs, and enjoy. A truly special lost gem......By T. Kasuboski...


Line Up: 
Music By, Arranged By, Vocals, Guitar [Lead, Side], Bass, Drums - Jun Kamikubo

Tracklist 
1 勲章いっぱいぶらさげて [Getting Into The Ecstacy] 
2 死んだら恋人よ [Reflection Of Sentimentalism] 
3 天国行きの最終便 [Blues Of Movement] 
4 愛が欲しい [Get What You Want] 
5 半分終わった俺の人生は [What's My Life] 
6 人生は舞台劇 [I Want To Be What I Can] 
7 何となく何となく [Go Through The Wind] 
8 殺ったのは俺じゃない [Leaving My Position] 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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