Monthly Archives: November 2021

Sweet Inspirations [ Tori Kudo ] LP

Sweet Inspirations [ Tori Kudo ] LP + CDEP Sweet Inspirations at Muon – An’archives

ltd to 385, silkscreened chipboard jacket with obi (orange or yellow), inserts and postcard –

Liner notes by Jon Dale

Release date : Nov. 26th

With the release of Sweet Inspirations At Muon, the first appearance on vinyl of Tori Kudo’s mythical early ‘80s primitive rock gang Sweet Inspirations, another piece of the seemingly endless puzzle of the Japanese underground has fallen into place. Recorded some time in 1982 at Yokohama venue Muon – precise details are sketchy – we’re now given another chance to discover what was going on in Kudo’s mind just before he formed the group he is now best known for, the ragtag gang of pro and amateur musicians that was Maher Shalal Hash Baz.
Sweet Inspirations were one of several groups formed by Kudo around this time. He’d already released the visionary naïve-art album, Tenno, in collaboration with Reiko Omura, in 1980, and a trip to New York the following year led to the recording of Atlantic City, under the name La Consumption 4. Returning to Japan, Kudo first formed Guys’N’Dolls with Jun Yoshiwara (bass) and Kiyoaki Iwamoto (drums); Yoshiwara carried over into Sweet Inspirations, who existed for a few years, their membership, at various times, featuring Asahito Nanjo (High Rise etc.), Jutok Kaneko (Kousokuya), Yoshio Kuge (Les Rallizes Denudes etc.), 3C123 and many more.
The material here was originally released, without permission, by the Cragale label on CD-R in 2000. It was one of a sudden wave of archival CD-Rs that Cragale pumped out that year of material recorded at Muon, which was owned by Kohei Iehara, who co-founded Cragale with Tamotsu Hongo. In the context of the recent unleashing of material from the Kudo archives – the 9CD At Goodman set, the reissue of the first two Maher Shalal Hash Baz cassettes and the Noise LP, and the tantalising glimpses of other historical gems via Tori’s own Bandcamp page – hearing Sweet Inspirations with such clarity fills in a significant piece of the puzzle; here is Kudo, just before Maher, channelling the rough conceptualism of Red Krayola and the glinting, staggered rhythms of Syd Barrett into extended blooms of ragged glory, sketching out future classics like “Manson Girls”; A bonus CD includes a cover of a song by legendary South Korean rock group San Ul Lim.

26 €

or 45€ with Akiko Hotaka – Takuya Nishimura – Ikuro Takahashi LP

Akiko Hotaka – Takuya Nishimura – Ikuro Takahashi LP

Akiko Hotaka – Takuya Nishimura – Ikuro Takahashi LP Live – An’archives

LP ltd to 285, silkscreened chipboard jacket with obi (tan or ivory), inserts and postcard

Liner notes by Michel Henritzi


Release date : 26 November 2021

An’archives are proud to present a reissue of the self-titled first album by the trio of Akiko Hotaka, Takuya Nishimura and Ikuro Takahashi. Originally released in 2020 as a limited CD-R on the Uramado label, those who had the chance to hear this collection of live recordings, documenting a brief window of exploratory activity for Hotaka during the mid-2010s, were knocked out by its elemental force, Hotaka’s minimal, carefully sculpted pop songs spirited away to other planes of where by Nishimura and Takahashi’s improvisatory tactics, with Hotaka’s guitar now tender, now furiously overloaded.
Hotaka first came to attention as a member of Tori Kudo’s Maher Shalal Hash Baz. She’s been playing and recording her own songs for almost two decades now, though, releasing a string of CD-Rs across the 2000s that documented live performances at Enban, some with Masanori Hattori and Yuki Yoshida; this trio subsequently released several lovely folk-like albums on F.M.N. Sound Factory. More recently, Hotaka has formed a new trio, Hotarutachi, with Shohei Matsuo and Kenji Yoshikawa (their debut album, Hikari, was released by Hayabusa Landings in 2018). Playing with Nishimura and Takahashi, though, freed Hotaka’s playing immensely. There was always something expansive about her approach to the song, but this freedom was implicit in earlier music; on this album, which draws from performances undertaken across 2015 and 2016 at Hikari No Uma, Okubo, Hotaka wrings great intensities from the simplest of two-chord levitations, allowing her melodies to follow lines of deeply personal logic. There are still skeletal pop songs here, but with Nishimura and Takahashi as Hotaka’s backing group, there’s something very open about the music; it’s wild yet courteous, gallant yet refined. Throughout, both Nishimura and Takahashi draw on the double-language they’ve developed over the years, through performing in groups who are dedicated to the wide open spaces between song form and freedom – Nishimura has played with Ché-SHIZU, Miminokoto and Suishou No Fune, among others; Takahashi’s history is deeper still, with time spent with Ché-SHIZU, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, LSD March, Kousokuya, Nagisa Ni Te, High Rise, and Keiji Haino’s Fushitsusha and Aihiyo, and on. They are ideal foils for the slow breathing, simply structured songs that Hotaka writes, sourcing great depth of feeling from the most fundamental of gestures.

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