tisdag 7 juni 2016

Shinki Chen & His Friends - Selftitled (Mäktig Japansk Tung Hårdrock/Bluesrock 1971)


250:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Tung hårdrock med sång på engelska, tillhör topparna av Japansk tung hårdrock. Missa den inte!! Utgången utgåva sedan 2003. Har alltid varit mycket svår att hitta.)

Shinki Chen and Friends was a short-time project of Sino-Japanese Shinki Chen, often mentioned as Nippon's Jimi Hendrix and one of the most celebrated guitarists on that island. He was born 1949 in Yokohama City and began to play at the age of fourteen. According to the development of the beat music he joined several Liverpool-styled and blues based bands founded by his friends. He even changed to play drums in between but soon came back to the guitar as his main instrument.


Albumets baksida
Music releases with his collaboration are known from the band Power House (1969) with cover songs played very unusual and Foodbrain (1970). He was also working in a theatre ensemble for the musical HAIR until he produced his solo album 'Shinki Chen & Friends' in 1971 supported by George Yanagi (bass, vocals), Shinichi Nogi (drums) and former Foodbrain band mate Hiro Yanagida (keyboards).

The cover is showing him with afro look and perpetual cigarette dangling from his lips. This album is characterized by a special blend of traditional blues rock and spaced-out psychedelic elements. After that he produced two other albums with the project 'Speed, Glue & Shinki' - 'Eve' (1971) and an eponymous double LP (1972). No informations were given what happened with him afterwards.

An orgy of fuzz and pretty much every other form of excess (musical and otherwise) ya wanna reel off, Shinki Chen’s 1971 solo LP is a cherished artifact among brain-damaged low life everywhere. Backed up by his short-lived blues outfit, Power House, “Friends” is little more than a monument to Chen’s beyond wasted guitar pyrotechnics– and whatever adjective exceeds “beyond”– wasted psyche. 


Albumets insida
Beginning with cymbals and who-knows-what-the-fuck-else (most likely 50 reasons why you should be stoned before you proceed any further) on a backwards loop augmented by some ivory-tinklin’, you are then treated to 40 minutes of heavily-phased vocals (so much so that you’ll feel like you’ve been underwater for nearly three-quarters of an hour), charmingly inept drumming and the sweet tonality of Chen’s beatifically sustained, singing licks. 

The undoubted masterpiece is “Farewell to Hypocrites,” 13 minutes of unhinged riffing that somehow manages to soar despite some monotone– in fact, kinda robotic– backing, courtesy of “His Friends,” who occasionally drag things down to a Procol Plod. Luckily, Thee Shink’s inventive string-bendin’ is always there to save the day.


01. The Dark Sea Dream  04:51

02. Requiem of Confusion  04:23
03. Freedom of a Mad Paper Lantern  03:11
04. Gloomy Reflections 03:58
05. It Was Only Yesterday  04:32
06. Corpse  05:17
07. Farewell to Hypocrites  12:55


Front Cover