News October 10, 2021: The Gerogerigegege

Absolute backers of sound research that goes beyond the restrictions of the obvious and the frivolous are certainly The Gerogerigegege, a bizarre as amazing musical project born in 1985 in Shinjuku, one of the largest and most populated neighbourhoods in Tokyo, known for its gay community active since the 60s, led by the enigmatic figure of the musician and composer Juntaro Yamanouchi. The spark arises after the meeting of Juntaro just 18 years old with Tetsuya Endoh, a homosexual exhibitionist in his 45s. Attracted by the extreme as well as by noise music and punk ethics, the two gave life to the central nucleus of the band that would have had a very variable line-up over the course of its existence but always based on the weird couple. Juntaro thus put himself to the voice while Tetsuya, renamed himself with the stage name of Gero 30 (sometimes also credited as Gero 56) took on the role of performer simply dedicating himself (both during concerts and during studio recordings) to masturbation and acts not very suitable. The band’s first live performances in the gay BDSM clubs of Shinjuku began at the end of 1986, but already in 1985, a first EP was circulating in the Tokyo shops: six tracks recorded in very low quality on a TDK C-30 cassette released on ZSF Produkt, the legendary Masami Akita’s label. To carry on the project and his very personal musical vision Juntaro creates his record label Vis A Vis Audio Arts which in 1987 released the first long playng Senzuri Champion. The vinyl shows a first real approach to the key elements of the sounds that have made the band famous and that slowly begin to take shape in the album tracks, where the explicit moans and sounds of masturbation are perfectly audible, accompanied by a drum rhythm and various tools not always definable. Follow in 1988 the legendary Showa album. This is not simply a record, but a work that mixes sacred and profane, proposing the recording in two long tracks of a squeeze between a man and a woman enclosed in the notes of Kimigayo, the Japanese national anthem in one of the most extreme examples of musical satire of all time. The decade ends with two singles: the flexi disc Ai-Jin from 1988 is nothing more than a pop song by the famous Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng played in the background while Juntaro sings over the text in a disturbing way between the whisper and the growl. An alternative work of art in all respects that was printed in 2000 copies that would all be subsequently burned in an improvised artistic performance (only a few very rare copies forgotten in the warehouse survived). While Live at Tokyo Gay Center from 1989, is a red acetate in the shape of a heart printed in only 10 copies that contains 3 minutes of static noises that seem a fault connection between guitar cable to the amplifier. The 90’s literally makes Juntaro and Gero 30’s experimentation explode and extreme starting from the magnificent and legendary album パンクの鬼 (Tokyo Anal Dynamite), released in 1990 and containing 75 tracks recorded live all structured in the exact same formula with Juntaro that marks the title of the song and the “one-two-three-four” in full Ramones-style followed by a violent and indistinguishable storm of pure noise for half an hour of an immersive journey through pain and sadomasochistic perverse pleasure with almost no parallel in its moment. This is unquestionably one of the greatest noise albums ever, powerful and cathartic at the same time, a truly stunning and visionary piece of work. And the extreme experimentalism continues until 2001 in a crazy and sophisticated mix of avant-garde, animalistic noise and exhibitionism, hardcore purely conceptual works and ero tape culture, basic punk rock to Ramones (Juntaro’s great passion) and suite of minimalistic drone music, concluding their first era with the seeming disappearance of Juntaro Yamanouchi, for nearly 13 years. In 2016, after a long absence, Gero returned with the acclaimed “Moenai Hai”, which saw the band return to their noisy, deafening style of experimental music. Juntaro returns to release on his label re-editions, sometimes remixed, of his first works and bootleg alternating with new ones in ultra-limited and impossible to find editions. Then in 2019 comes new album titled “Uguisudani Apocalypse”. That’s incredible, with many distros and record shops selling out within weeks. A collection of 12 untitled instrumental tracks, the album marks a departure from the eardrum rattling return of Moenai Hai, into a lo-fi produced experiment in funk, jazz, soul, and disco music. This is followed by the cassette, then reissued in LP, entitled (decrescendo), the picture LP Piss Shower Girlfriend and the monumental ten CD wooden box 不安 な 演奏.

Ura045 The Gerogerigegege –  Uguisudani Apocalypse Cassette in wooden box Uguisudani Apocalypse is a collection of untitled instrumental songs where each track is succinct and minimal, packing melody into a short and concise pounding of different styles with its tracks influenced by lounge music, bossa nova, funk, punk, jazz as well as the sound of the Japanese bubble era – with disco inflections. The simple spread of different styles is almost astounding, with no songs in it both in the same genre as finally, the album keeps… Find out more here

Ura044 The Gerogerigegege –  直美のオナニーと若草寮案内 Cassette in wooden box Always ahead of the curve, bringing seminal lost works back into centre of our consciousness, we have done it again. A true joy in listening and historically as important as they come, their first ever reissue of The Gerogerigegege, 直美のオナニーと若草寮案内 RE-ISSUE” (“Naomi’s Masturbation and Wakakusa Dormitory Guide RE-ISSUE’), turns everything on its head (and not only that) and is not to be missed. This carelessness and the… Find out more here