Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Night Is Yours
New studio album by these Japanese heads, this one is sure to place your third eye right onto the eternal cosmic plane. Feels like spacing out in a hammock set between massively fucked-up, stripped-down mantra rhythms licking that sweet essence of crazed fuzz guitars and beautifully mellow acid ballads. A classic nocturnal journey into deep Tokyo psychedelica. Full-color artwork by Bart De Paepe, edition of 300 copies.
Tokyo psych monsters Up-Tight come out of the classically wasted/drug-damaged school of excessive fuzz and reverb, giving the nod to the endless jam style of Les Rallizes Denudes while spiking their sound with dark downer ballads that owe as much to The Jacks as they do to The Velvet Underground. The Night Is Yours is an edition of 300 copies LP that functions as the absolute apex of their catalogue to date, crossing beautiful comedown folk-psych moves with whole sides of extended scorch. Indeed, there’s a new focus on psychedelic ritual here, especially apparent on the staggering “She’s So Heavy” with choirs of disembodied monks chanting in the background while the bass – played w/all of the thunderous power of Mik from Kousokuya – marches the group ever forward and vocalist Tomoyuki hovers over the track like a wraith. If you can picture Spacemen 3 circa The Perfect Prescription produced by Ghost circa Temple Stone then you’re close to the outrageous levels of psychedelic excess captured here. Tomoyuki’s guitar tone has to be heard to be believed, with tactile garage punk crunch put to the service of endlessly euphoric orbits of three droning chords. Up-Tight have been responsible for a buncha the most memorable releases to come out of the post-PSF underground but this has to be their recorded pinnacle, the perfect balance of two chord Velvet downers and strung-out post-Rallizes string violence. One of our records of the year so far! Sloow Tapes are on a roll right now – highly recommended! (Tip Of The Tongue 2 July 2011, Volcanic Tongue)
Up-Tight are a three-piece from Tokyo who, from the evidence of this LP, play ponderous, overblown psych rock, of which this record contains five examples. Opener 'Blow Away' fades in with some insistent, repetitive bass and drums (the bass tone on this track is really enviably nasty) and then a load of noisy, squalling guitar over the top taking us to some pretty far-out places before everything fades out and we're onto the next song, 'She's So Heavy'. No, this isn't a Beatles cover, it's actually a really quiet and mysterious piece where the lead vocal is largely backed by chanting, with really minimal bass and keyboards adding a little depth, it's quite blissful and hypnotic, this one, but towards the end it gradually gets overtaken by all manner of strange noises...I was expecting it to be building into another freakout like the first track but actually it's gone in the exact opposite direction! 'After My Dream' is a totally restrained and beautiful ballad. Man, I don't know if it's my weird love of people singing in foreign accents or what but the Japanese totally know how to do ballads. There's even a dead tasteful guitar solo here. The second side is almost entirely taken up by a giant piece called 'So Alone'. Once again we're treated to that pummelling bass tone I loved so much in the first track, but this one's slower and more coherent. The rhythm section is totally locked into a slow, pounding, Melvins-esque groove while guitarist Aoki Tomoyuki gets another chance to explore. He's got some totally searing tones in his arsenal, too. I love how this band's tone palette is so organic. We've had so much synth-heavy stuff coming through here lately that it's great to hear a band that sounds like a bunch of guys battering the fuck out of some wood and wire, '70s style. As the aforementioned Fab Four used to say, "All you need is gain". I'm pretty sure that's what they said. Once that riff marathon is over there's just time for one spooky little ballad, 'The Night Is Yours', which sees everything stripped back to really minimal strummed acoustic guitar, practically inaudible bass, and a vocal line that's got so much reverb on it that every note sticks around for a good second or two after it's sung. I'm totally impressed with this whole record, and if you like your rock slow and psychedelic I don't see why you wouldn't be too. (Norman Records)
Overheerlijke psychrock van Up-Tight, het Japanse trio dat al voor aardig wat trips heeft gezorgd in het verleden. Opener Blow Away doet precies wat de titel je vertelt: fuzzy, krakende riffs in een hypnotiserend ritme zijn ervoor gemaakt om je speakers tot het uiterste te testen, terwijl de in echo’s verdrinkende (en nagenoeg onverstaanbare) zang je naar hogere sferen brengen. Ik hoor The Melvins, Spacemen 3 en The Velvet Underground, plus een heleboel vage shit uit de jaren ’70. Gek genoeg gaat de plaat op de A-kant daarna richting kosmische acid ballads, wat een nog grotere waas over de muziek van Up-Tight legt. Op de bijna 20 minuten durende B-kant gaan ze weer verder waar ze waren begonnen, met die stompende ritmesectie en bezwerende riffs die door feedback naar eenzame hoogten worden getild. Geweldig! (De Subjectivisten)