Shuji Inaba-The Rapture of Being Destroyed
2004 Japanese Outsider Folk
This is one for the people who like Kan Mikami and Kazuki Tomokawa
but this guy seems to be less known
Shuji Inaba is a Japanese avant-folk singer and guitarist who hasn't reached the same level of documentation as peers like Kan Mikami and Kazuki Tomokawa. No 13 CD box set for Shuji yet! And some might find the prospect of such a box set quite frightening -- a single disc of his raw acoustic guitar playing and whisper-scream vocalizations will be more than enough for a lot of folks. Others will find Inaba's Rapture Of Being Destroyed to be a harrowing yet compelling listen. With some tracks filled with stark outbursts from silence and others more 'song' like, this is a great record recommended for those who already dig the likes of Dead Raven Choir and the aforementioned Kan Mikami. This Last Visible Dog cd release comes with Inaba's poetic lyrics translated into English by Alan Cummings." -- Aquarius. Shuji has appeared on PSF records and has two releases on Planktone records. Similar to Kan Mikami and Kazuki Tomokawa. This CD includes a lyric sheet with translations by Alan Cummings.
"Before a small audience in the Five Pennies club in Tottori, west Japan, Shuji Inaba performs his first song, "To A Corpse", in a whisper verging on the inaudible. It's something like a shamanic prayer to wreathe his listeners in trance. An explosion of raw acoustic guitar heralds the onset of next, called "Modern Terrorism". The shaman offers his audience a journey: "Let's fly together to the dark side of the moon / A gaudy name for our epitaph." Inaba's delivery is dramatic in the extreme, as he gulps and gasps, his voice overwhelmed in emotion. The antithesis of a cool, know-it-all singer-songwriter, his Japanese antecedents would include the stylised chanting of medieval epics over the violently struck biwa lute, or the lectern-thumping passion of the Gidayu narrator in Bunraku puppet plays.
By his third song, Inaba is prepared to settle down into a recognisable song form, with metre and verses. This is a lament for the destruction of Hiroshima, a political ballad with clear kinship to the tragic Enka love songs beloved of Japanese karaoke bars. After this relatively restrained interlude, he follows his Hiroshima theme into "Uranium 235", a terrifying raw vision of people running amok to escape the return of the Enola Gay atom bomb. Thrashing his guitar, his vocal reduced on occasion to panic-stricken gibbering, Inaba is determined to put his listeners right through the experience.
Inaba comes fro Shimane, near Hiroshima, and lines up with Kan Mikami and Keiji Haino as a performer prowling the very edges of what is possible given a voice, a guitar and an audience. This is a verité recording of a club show, complete with long gabs between songs. The lyrics are provided in an English translation by Alan Cummings. The most effective track may be the exhausted ballad that follows in the wake of the harrowing "Uranium 235". "Let's play, let's be played with" -- Inaba is grappling with the dark side, maybe not of the moon, but of cute Japan."
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