Splendor Mystic Solis – Heavy Acid Blowout Tensions (2003, Galactic Zoo Disk/Eclipse)

Posted in music by okkame on March 12, 2011




If you haven’t had your share of ecstatic, brain-frying, mind-ripping moments with High Rise (not J. G. Ballard’s eponymous novel where the name of the band came from) yet, it’s  probably either you’re not hip enough to have heard of them or you’re square enough not to be able to dig their music, like, forever. I disintered Splendor Mystic Solis in the midst of my quest for post-High Rise marvels, circa 2006 (my hard disk says so). My then-mobydick of psyche was totally harpooned, then enthralled, and in next to no time puppetized by the collective thrust of these Splendor Mystic Soli. I had been one of the prey of their lofty aspiration for long stretches of time. But that olde me has long since been forgotten, until today’s revisitation yet this time with the beatrate of 320kbps thanks to the source below (but the album artworks are tastefully photoshopped by yours truly for your viewing pleasure). They still triumph and rule ! And I’m still a minion of  ’em ! Packing Amazing ! The Quicksilver Messenger Service reference is spot-on because their Happy Trails is the best psych rock record on the planet earth. Only these Soli are fiercely malicious.


Be devoured by Heavy Acid Blowout Tensions


The Source ‘s talk:


Well, I must admit I’m not impartial when discussing these recordings, but let me try and step out of my biases and NOT think of the hot summer of 1999–and an un-air-conditioned/carpet sample lined van, ringleader Nanjo’s temper tantrums, TV show appearances, a dude crushing a 40 oz bottle in his hands, gigging with all from Christian Marclay to Fuzzhead, doors kicked in, brawls, snorts, and even rooftop nakedness. Ah, those were the daze.

Well yes, this conglomeration of musicians got together mainly for a Mainliner tour, which intersected with the end of a Ruins tour, and Mainliner-leader Nanjo Asahito wanted to explore his other “concepts,” like Okhami No Jikan and Toho Sara, regardless if he had those band members present or not. He also masterminded one-time “supergroup” Splendor Mystic Solis, which featured an amazing caliber of Japanese underground stars–Kawababta Makoto of ye olde Acid Mothers Temple, Musica Transonic, and a zillion other projects; the aforementioned Nanjo Asahito of High Rise prominence; Sasaki Hisashi, then bassist of the Ruins, Shimura Koji , now of AMT as well as former High Rise, White Heaven, etc.; the one young American Plastic Crimewave; and a mysterious young lady known only as “Nana,” who I don’t think you can even hear on the recordings.

Most nights things exploded into a monumental blistering jam, usually with the same mellower lift-off point. Somehow Ed Hardy at Eclipse got hold of a few recordings from a fan, and some bootleg recordings were spotted (a very typical Nanjo scam) and purchased while in Japan at the legendary Modern Music shop (home to PSF Records). Hearing the concerts later, it was amazing how telepathic some of the “changes” were and how well it all meshed–one couldn’t tell who was who (3 guitars will do that) and when played for a respected Japanese-friendly writer at the WIRE magazine (Ed. Alan Cummings?), he said it was better than most of Nanjo’s releases. So an LP document had to happen, envisioned a bit like that Butterfield Blues Band release that compiled three complete versions of the expansive track, “East/West’–all of them intense, morphing into new stratas, and growing increasingly more complex. The skree here is a bit more full-on though, maybe sounding like Quicksilver on their most dissonant night, or Ash Ra Tempel on “11.” The LP was limited to 1000 copies and is way out of print now….



I like Nanjo-san (hmm Asahito-san?) more as he dismissed Merzbow like “I like noise that has that kind of physicality to it. I was in a really stupid band called Tako – we’d get covered in blood making this avant-garde racket. It was more like performance art, people would come to see us freaks. But because we were putting our bodies on the line it had real impact. Like it was the true punk spirit. That’s why I dislike Merzbow and Hijokaidan. Or any of the other noise bands. I mean, if you were to give me a studio and equipment for a week and tell me to make some noise, I could come up with a couple of hundred LPs worth.” on this great interview of him. Click the link if you have good taste in music. The music mentioned there runs the gamut, from No Wave to Morton Feldman’s.


Where are the Galactic Zoo Dossier-reading hepsters? Of course, none in Korea.



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