Hijokaidan - Polar Nights Live [Picadisk - 2008]Polar Nights live brings together near on 70 minutes of noise, chaos,and surprisingly cinematic in places sound attacks. Recorded over two nights at last years All Ears Festival in Oslo.
No Harm No Oslo opens the album up throwing you straight into the deep of chaos and sound mayhem. With Jojo Hiroshige jabbering, juddering and ripping guitar attack-sounding like he's literary beating and rapping his guitar. And Junko’s manic high pitched vocal yammering, speed chatring. At times whining and squealing like a trapped dog on an electrocuted floor. The track lasts just over 25 minutes & hardly lets you up for air, it just attacks you again and again like a madman on speed.
Next up we have Book of Changers which sees Jojo Hiroshige been joined on guitar by Norwegian muilt- instrumentalist Per Gisle Galåen, with Junko stepping back. This track is far calmer,atmospheric and to begin with harmonic, built around edgy and cold guitar patterns with growing walls of feedback become more and more volatile as the track progresses. At about the seven mark the harmonic/cold guitar patterns get all but swallowed up by bellowing clouds of guitar feedback and noise with the pair really pumping out dense shifting smog of sound. It slips back briefly at its end to the striped down guitar refrain once more.
Lastly we have Le Royon Verte which brings back Junko this time joined by Norwegian noise maker Sten Ove Toft on electronics. Sadly this is the least exciting and stimulating track here. It just seems the pair are going through the monitions, just kick up and rather dull noise and vocal overload. There are some more droning textures here and there that show some slight reward but on the whole it did little for me.
Another perfectly recorded and mostly rewarding slab of Japanese noise on the Pica disk label, with only the last track really letting the side down.Roger Batty