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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Munehiro Narita ”Psyche De Void” Japan Psych Acid Punk 2016


Munehiro Narita ”Psyche De Void” Japan Psych Acid Punk 2016 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuEGd_9CeOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSaA1UAS_3I

a little sample by Guerssen Records 

  http://www.guerssen.com/catalogue.php?lang=en&ide=24815&preO=true


Munehiro Narita, the original “psychedelic speed freak,” is for many people the undisputed king of acid-fuzz guitar. Active since the late ‘70s, Narita is a Japanese psychedelic underground legend. After playing in cult bands like Kyoaku no Intention, he founded the brutal heavy-psych power trio High Rise in the '80s. His furious guitar playing, which involves lethal doses of fuzz-wah at earsplitting volume, can also be heard on his current band Green Flames (featuring Mitsuru Tabata from Acid Mothers Temple). In 2014 Narita released a Japanese-only CD titled Psyche De Loid, doing heavy guitar fuzzed-out covers of classic psych songs from the '60s/'70s. But Psyche De Loid was also the first-ever psychedelic album recorded using Vocaloid technology. Very popular in Japan, Vocaloid is a software/singing synthesizer – one enters the lyrics of a song into the program and adds music to generate a Vocaloid – or “Vocal Android” – which sing in bizarre, mostly female, android-type vocals. Vocaloid is often associated with J-pop but on Psyche De Loid Narita smashes this genre into a wall with the contrast of killer, Ron Asheton-like piercing fuzz-wah guitar and child-like android vocals, featuring surreal covers of tracks by The Stooges, Hendrix, Blue Cheer, Shocking Blue, Pink Floyd, MC5, Jefferson Airplane… . Previously available as a Japanese-only CD, this is the first-ever vinyl edition with new artwork....~

Munehiro Narita is a bit of a legend on the Japanese psych scene having been the source of some of the fiercest acid fuzz guitar ever via his band High Rise (a band that produced some of THE heaviest psych....check out the video below, and the very reason that one of my favourite labels , P.S.F. 'Psychedelic Speed Freaks, came into being.) He is currently playing alongside Mitsuru Tabata from Acid Mothers Temple in Green Flames. 'Psyche De Loid', an album originally only available in Japan, is notable for 2 things: firstly there is Narita's trademark guitar, as heavy and as fuzzy as ever, and secondly the vocals which were computer generated using Vocaloid technology. Vocaloid is a software / singing synthesizer in which you enter the lyrics, add music and a 'Vocaloid' (Vocal Android) interpret the lyrics in a weird android style, which sounds almost childlike. All this is used in the re-imagining of classics from the 60s and 70s. Intrigued? I was, as were Guerssen Records who have given this a full vinyl release. 

Things kick off with Hendrix's 'Fire'. For a guitarist to cover a Hendrix song, and do it justice, they have gotta be pretty good to say the least - luckily Narita has both the chops and the technical skill to pull this off. The guitar work is incredible....it has the power and fuzz of his High Rise work but is given more freedom and his ability shines through. Then there's the vocals...there's no mistaking that they are computer generated and they certainly add a different element to proceedings...imagine a Japanese schoolgirl singing Hendrix via a vocoder and you pretty much have it. It's not unpleasant, indeed, the juxtaposition of the hard'n'heavy guitar with the innocent sounding vocals is pretty cool. Next up is Shocking Blue's 'Venus' (a song that, unfortunately, will bring Bananarama to mind for a generation). Again the guitar is blistering, more heavy psych this time rather than acid. My main concern was whether the novelty of the vocals would wear off after a while. 'Summertime Blues' manages the seemingly impossible - made this Cochran classic almost heavier than Blue Cheer. The fuzz on the guitar is amazing and when Narita lets rip....wow! The vocals work on this one....again it's the mix of the teenage angst lyrics with the childlike vox. Strange one next - 'You keep me hangin' on', the Holland-Dozier-Holland number covered by The Supremes, Kim Wilde (!) and Vanilla Fudge amongst others, it's not a song that would lend itself to searing guitar freakouts, but that shows what I know! The familiar melody is supplemented by Narita's almost mournful psych guitar and it works. I had a bit of a problem with the next...'Move Over', the Joplin number from the wonderful 'Pearl' LP. The guitar, as ever, is excellent, especially when it gets as heavy as lead....it's the vocals; to hear the track, formerly sung by one of the greatest voices in rock history, 'sung' by a computer just doesn't seem right, but I hasten to add that that is a personal observation. 

Side 2 opens with 'Born to be wild', kinda obvious inclusion I suppose, but to hear a master like Narita play those riffs we all know and love is a joy. Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' follows, and this is actually where the vocals come into their own, adding an additional psychedelic element to an already trippy song. 'Kick Out The jams' is a blast! The guitar goes into overdrive on this counterculture classic, and to hear this childlike voice singing 'kick out the jams' is a hoot! The guitar, when allowed to roam free, is awesome..I defy anyone to listen to this and not want to turn it up to 11! 'Astronomy Domine' should need no introduction to anyone reading this blog and this interpretation is as respectful as it is different....it adds a hardness to the Floyd original that is complemented by the childish vocals.....I think Syd would approve. If you're gonna close out an album of psych/rock classics, it's got to be The Stooges right? 'Little Doll' is apt re: the vocals and Narita pays respectful homage to Ron Asheton but still adds his own twist...its a scorcher! 

'Psyche De Loid' certainly adds something new to the psych cannon. The use of Vocaloid on a balls-out, heavy as fuck psych album is original (it has been used thus far on J-Pop recordings) and I was concerned at first that it would be a novelty whose appeal would wear thin. Thankfully it didn't...there are tracks where the vocals didn't quite work, but for the most part they add a twist to well known classics. But it is Narita's guitar that is the star. The guy truly is a magician with the axe. He has interpreted all the tracks in a respectful manner but still stamping his trade mark acid jamming firmly over them. The power and fuzz levels go through the roof, but it his technical ability that amazed me...he really is a master and a joy to hear. 'Psyche De Loid' has been given a vinyl release by Guerssen...~


Tracklist 
A1 Fire 
Written-By – Jimi Hendrix* 
A2 Venus 
Written-By – R. v. Leeuwen* 
A3 Summertime Blues 
Written-By – Cochran, Capehart* 
A4 You Keep Me Hangin' On 
Written-By – B. Holland, L. Dozier, E. Holland* 
A5 Move Over 
Written-By – J. Joplin* 
B1 Born To Be Wild 
Written-By – M. Bonfire* 
B2 White Rabbit 
Written-By – Grace Slick 
B3 Kick Out The Jams 
Written-By – MC5 
B4 Astronomy Domine 
Written-By – Barrett* 
B5 Little Doll 
Written-By – The Stooges 

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