Photo: Bryony McIntyre



15 Oct 2005  •  The Arches, Glasgow


What we wrote about them at the time…

“Sound is all our dreams of music, noise is music’s dreams of us”.

Although Morton Feldman probably didn’t have Hijokaidan in mind, his beautifully turned phrase captures something of the dislocating essence of the new planes noise can open up to mind and body.  Hijokaidan, one of the longest running and most expressive groups operating in the Japanese noise scene, bore like granite into granite, a 5-headed extension of raw power and Aktionist spectacle whose 25 year career had helped define the noise genre.

Formed in ’79 in Osaka, they rapidly built a following due to the overwhelmingly physical intensity of their live performances, often involving destructive onstage rituals of vomit, urine, mangled guitars and ear shredding volume.


There’s only so long you can go on vomiting on stage, though, and as audiences started to expect spectacle of the band, Hijokaidan ratcheted up the musical focus and developed into one of the most uncompromisingly dense and emotionally expressive noise acts. Many first wave noise artists found inspiration in 70’s metal and outsider rock-brut, but it’s with Hijokaidan that the rock form has been most passionately devoured in a compacted layering of high-end volume and movement; the recent addition of a drummer to the core line-up giving their sound, already full of frenetic guitar, electronic-overload and wordless vocal-screech an even more direct and elemental power. One of the most exhilarating live acts you’re likely to see, this is the first time they’ve played outside Japan.

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