Tuesday, September 18, 2007
People - Ceremony Buddha Meet Rock
Psychadelic rock from Japan. Vinyl release from 1971, from what I hear it's extremely hard to find, but has been reissued. This is the original vinyl rip.
I’m not sure if these guys actually existed as a performing band, or if they were only a studio super-session project. Guitarist Kimio Mizutani had previously [or simultaneously, or shortly after?] played with Love Live Life + One and Masahiko Satoh’s Sound Brakers . At any rate, their sole album, the concept piece ‘Ceremony – Buddha Meet Rock’ [Teichiku, 1971], is an absolute classic. The album came with extensive liner notes elaborating on the intended meaning for each track – the whole album flowing more or less as a conceptual whole. As the title would suggest, it was an attempt to fuse a Buddhist-influenced spiritual vibe into an innovative oriental form of hypnotic psychedelic progressive rock. It’s all quite unique and doesn’t sound like any preceding groups that I’m aware of, though some bits are like a much less-heavy Flower Travellin’ Band circa ‘Satori’. It’s a bit jazzy in places, hinting at some of Stomu Yamash’ta’s work with Come to the Edge.
There’s lots of nice fuzz guitar leads and overall, a very sanctified vibe that makes this a deep but groovy experience. Following this , Mizutani recorded his equally great solo album.
Quite a weird little record -- part psychedelia, but with some really rootsy elements -- and also some odd use of recorded music as well! The sound here is really mindblowing -- experimental and trippy, but never too free or over the top -- and the core instrumentation includes lots of fuzzy guitar, organ, and rough percussion -- plus additional vocals in parts, and even a bit of sitar as well! The production abstracts some of the sounds nicely, but never too much -- and at times a more traditional Japanese style of music lurks in the background, possibly as a brief nod to the Buddha in the title. Most unusually, though, is that the first track on the record features part of a David Axelrod album playing in the background! There's clearly an Axelrod influence going on -- both in the structure and sound of the record -- although the group also take things very much in their own direction too.".
Only place I can find to buy the reissue.