Japanese People Do It Cool: Albert Ayler on a comic book

Posted in comics, films, music by okkame on May 22, 2010


Above are scanned snatches of The Astral Project penned by a japanese comic book writer Takeya Syuji. There’re few comic books available in handy in Korea, which reference music I like and tackle it as the main subject. Comics are comics and they don’t need to be about music to be  good reads. But It’s much better to have one than not.  About a decade ago,  I came to read Takeya Syuji’s ‘Lazrez‘  since, as is often the case with that, I was attracted by its modern and neat outlook,  if my memory is not so deteriorated.

Lazrez was an astoundingly artsy, kafkaesque comic tale that explored acid-addled apeshit rave culture in Japan and ideally, focused more on music itself and delivering thoughts about it. It’s head-fuckingly good to see names like Jesus And The Mary Chain and Sonic Youth in the book’s garbled ramblings as a wee music nerd myself.  It’s still over my head why a korean public house decided to translate that apparently non-sellabe work in korean.  Anyhow, Lazrez is recently reminded then I ran a little search. I found out there’s another comic book (I don’t like using the word ‘Manga’. Koreans call it ‘Manhwa’. Manga is japanese pronunciation of Manhwa and funnily, We koreans refer Manga to the only erotic kind written by Japanese. That’s how we see Japanese generally. Ha Ha) of him adapted to my mother language. And I could download it with a little effort. The title ‘The Astral Project’ looked kinda ugly and crufty so i was relunctant to read it but it turned out to be the shit * Its korean title is ‘월광’ that means much more likable ‘Moon Light’. I didn’t expect it to be musical because it didn’t appear to be,  However, that’s fucking Albert Ayler I could see not long after I started to read it. 

The book is about a surrealstic story in which the protagonist’s trying to probe the mystery behind his sister’s suspicious death which he, the protagonist,  supposes  happened because of the out-of-body experience she underwent after her listening to music from a mix CD compiled by herself. Of course his guessing is based on his own out-of-body experience from it. He’s convinced it’s the jazz track he feels familar but can’t figure out that causes it. Then he visits some jazz mania to blow its cover and gets to know it’s an Albert Ayler’s unpublished track. Fuck, It’s time for you to be moved if you’re already a fan of Albert Ayler. And the author interestingly related the finding of the drowned corpse of Albert Ayler to the knowned suicide of  Mishima Yukio. Their connection is just Ayler’s deadbody was discovered on the day Mishima comitted a tragic and fucking Amazing  self-murder, but you know they’re two great figures who left art of enormous value behind and it’s just cool to be dealt this way.  Sometimes it’s too bad that you can’t read korean. I would offer you a  link if it’s useful.

Here’s one more story about Albert Ayler and the cool jap. There was a time(circa 2004?) when i was heavily into freejazz and Albert Ayler, and i tried a famed auteur, Aoyama Shinji’s film ‘Eureka‘ oneday and it took me by surprise. You know that movie is a masterwork but it’s a bit too a downer to be surprised. It was a sudden sound of Albert Ayler’s Ghosts that surprised me. A precious serendipity it was and furthermore the music, ‘Ghosts’ played not a small role in strengthening the movie’s ambience. It’s a classy scene but I am not able to show you. Instead, take a look at the movie’s trailer. 

And I recommend you to watch the Helpless-Eureka-Sad Vacation trilogy if you’d like a Helpless man seeking out Eureka during the Sad Vacation, well, whatever that means.


Albert AylerMessage From Albert Ayler  (From the album ‘New Grass’)

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