Once upon a time, there was this really’ really oishi, fuck-it!, – uniquely oishi, five piece from Osaka playing “fast progressive junk” (more on this eponym shortly). A very difficult shape to outline, HK squirted, doused, spumed – structured Noisecore, Prog-addled Grind/HC/Fastcore mismatched with a small but integral 15% provision of ‘anything else’ from computer game themed scrat, J-Pop garbage, turbid Reggae & 90’s Anime instrumental soundtrack lachrymose. It’s a taxing task to categorize or compare to other groups, but if a reduced-length Primus leased it’s lot to World, Gore Beyond Necropsy & Final Exit crossing capillaries with Can & the maxed-out spectrum of 90’s Japanese Fastcore under a more numerous, fractured & Prog directive, sub-sectioned by Avant-Garde sample, FX pedal & Noise sub-lodgings co-connecting through a pastiche of tacky keyboard otaku lampoon & fantasy themes. We are getting there. as a precursor to the next barrage, the drummer, bassist & guitar player can all really play, blatantly having decades of exigency in a considerable stretch of varied styles. Nishimoto plays guitar, generally embrocated with a massive integument of harsh-distortion & over-driven feedback…he also does vocals, squawking & chattering in fast flurries like some kind of cartoon villain with his balls in a tow-clamp. Toda on the bass – super clean (mostly), tight & precise for all the choppy, erratic change & abrupt stops. Drummer Arima converges the blasts, C-beat, HC miscellany & elaborate Prog portion. Between them, Kajiwara & Shigeru spill the Noise, samples & keyboards, you know! – just to totally upturn the boat & whack a whole in the support-stilts (it is possible that these two extra members were creations of fiction). Man this shit is glorious! Stand alone, nobody else like it glorious! I remember getting both Junk & Greedy Homosapiens (the split EP with Yoope Tower) in the late 90’s from a random German mail-order & having the senses totally flustered & delighted by this whack-a-fuck involuted nonsense. It’s insanely original, unpredictable, majorly imaginative & manages to pull-the-task-off successfully, & not just be a theoretically cool clod of well-played outré weirdness that’s merit lies with the bravery of the attempt & not the result. Songs are anything from twenty-odd seconds to one minute & then some (they never really seem to stray over the 1.30 gap), but mostly around the 40 second mark. Their appliance of simultaneous extremes/styles & comfort with tight syncopation, disciplined structure & tatty discordant bedlam in fixed spaces/controlled explosions, puts them at odds with the clear Noisegrind/Gunk credentials. Again, this immensely discombobulated, schizophrenic flipping between comportments only really adds to the allure. As for HK being wrongly miscalculated with the more commercially successful Melt Banana, Ruins & Boredoms regiment, it’s unlikely that such a miscue will occur as HK are clearly far more harsh, fast & Noisecore orientated. The brilliant American collective Fat Worm Of Error definitely bare some analogy (what a split that would make *__*), though the Worm was more on the semi-improvisational (there seemed to be some supposition of co-ordinates) with a loose roaming angle. Gore Beyond Necropsy were in great shape during this period & were another group that deployed a Noise specialist through structured criteria (very’ very rarely done) as did World (another spectacular group from Osaka heaving-up conventions foundations). “fast progressive junk”, as coined by the band themselves, a very accurate epithet, that needs further explanation only because these guys sprawl in so many directions.
The twelve track ‘Junk’ 7” EP & separate ‘Greedy Homosapiens’ session that was issued as a split 7” with Yoope Tower (really bad Shitnoise from Nara) are absolute diamonds. A cassette release was hindered to the door of disqualification by horrendous recording clarity (yeah! Even for raw & lofi HK). A few tracks from both EP’s & demo mulch were included on the DRF volume 1 compilation CD (which should be still in circulation). In 2001, a high fidelity studio session, “Over Eat!” with all members was captured at Studio Puzzle for Gyuune Cassette (quite possibly one of the HK crew). It ladled on fourteen songs in twelve minutes. The high-end production works very well & exposes even more of this groups screamingly individual absonant achievements, but ultimately, my preference is for the more lo-fi & raw recording of the EP’s. the last recording I believe the group did, was one I instigated myself & possibly the best session from HK of all – seventeen tracks with all members that comprised the 3-way split with fucking Bollock Swine & Final Exit (JESUS!). initially, I was sent a series of non-KO tracks, with Shigeru & Kajiwara absent. Summoning the highest discourse of diplomatic jive, I sent the boys back into the studio. an improved, but by no means fully potentized result was presented months later, still minus Shigeru & Kaji. This shit is delicate! It’s not good to push artists (especially as gifted as these fucks) around, but if they’re coming-up short, & are clearly capable of so much better (not to mention the fuckin’ loot i was putting on the line, including funding all studio sessions at the goddamn’ Japanese rehearsal room rate, i.e. expensive) it’s got to be broached. They agreed to one more session & insured that all members would be dragged out of soap parlors/anime production teams to slop in. the next master to float over in the mail was off the charts. Final Exit tumbled into the studio & produced “10 Minutes Worth of Songs” whilst Bollock Swine excavated three blast-glut fuck-frenzy scream-core detonations from the 2005 Chicago sessions & gouged them with further trauma overdubs, including two harsh noise contributions from “sweet sounds of the burning child” & Government Alpha. Interwoven in small intervals between these three hulks was a two-piece User-Hostile Machine BlurNoise Hard-Vacuum get-up from Texas called Crovac, who were determined to give King of all Kongs Asscavern a pitched-battle for the BlurBlast mantle (they failed! But definitely not without merit & leaving much smoldering by the wayside). The sleeve design was a giant piece of posh-card with cover art by the freak from Jet Jaguar KR3 Kill Spree, who was originally scheduled to donate material to the comp but had the presented matter rejected as it was too soft (which started a massive downward spiral a’ shite). The release remains a veritable Gunk classic & is still swimming the depths.
HK’s “Junk” EP has to be one of the sweetest 7”s I own… self-released by the band (around 1997 i think?), with two alternative covers/sleeve designs, this twelve track tenticular-growth of exotic & confused Franken-fudge blurts ersatz yogosu prog-grind-noise strangeness with its very own organ-ailments, microbe disruption & house-of-freaks side-effects. Trashy, but conceptually magnificent & technically adroit, it’s an ideal & unique button-head of harsh, anomalous garbage-chivalry.
Hot on it’s hisipidy is the split EP with Yoope Tower (a really terrible & hyper obscure crapulated Shitnoise outfit) titled “Greedy Homosapiens”. Again, totally individualistic, esoteric Noisecore kazuhin flushed with a gewgaw of dichromatic art-house shit, trash & Punky-Fastcore-Grind-Avant-Noisecore-odd fuck. Six tracks, all members, soooo great! ‘Nezumi’?
The cassette has the shabbiest dubbing ever, rendering the material scarcely discernible from slop-noise. It’s a shame, as some cuts are originals that don’t appear on the other releases. Barley edible, disintegrated super lo-fi slush. It’s a bit of a collectors curio, with the self-styled random burble-nonsense art that the band fostered teasing the buds, this time/my version having a ‘real life’ coin strapped-on. Y’ gotta love these goons!
HK mizzled into mystery in a puff of plankton. Like all good weirdos, they never really explained nor detailed anything (really cryptic & aphoristic liner blurb), mealy existed & enacted. I don’t think they were ever really part of any scene? or some very small rabble of ultra-fringe henka-art-loners that were self-serving/detached in the Osaka outré-ground just doing their own laundry on unclaimed allotments.
the DRF compilation CD caroused a splutch of HK tracks, (mostly teefed’ from their 7″EP’s but with a few extra’s) which joined about 32 other loons, pouring forth Noisegrind, No-Skool-Noyzcore, Speedcore, Harsh Noise, Blurcore, Warp, Cyber Grind, Glitch & other hysterically unpleasant/untowards User-Hostile ardent-asperity & Anti-Listener bedlam with the likes of Terrorist Kriss, Asscavern, Final Exit, Nee, Government Alpha, Bollock Swine, Fzt-Fwrd, Nihil Fist & other A-list obliteration experts.
How comes they are so obscure & little known? Especially as there is such a market/fetish for noncommercial Japanese music? – well, there is a gaggle of causes. Firstly, they were too good/genuinely weird. In a very familiar & frequent but still appallingly shit recurrence, – more popular groups often prefer singular or hyper restricted occupations of attention concentration (for themselves) & tightly controlled monopolization of genre representation. HK were also spectacularly good at what they did & out-weirded so many of their peers (quite possibly the lot), who would probably much rather not have the competition. Secondly, they were self-determined, releasing their own formidable material. Lack of deference or dependence is often viewed with resentment by established labels/scenes/nabobs & gate-keeper fuck-wads that expect ceremonial rim-jobs from new-comers to stimulate their shitty power-insecurities & market capture. Unfortunately, the better you are, the more often these pathetic interloper’s freak-out & resort to chicanery & tacit network based exclusion & suppression tactics, all of which can actually be very effective. HK were also in the difficult position of being way to harsh, noisy, spasmodic & skitz for one crowd, & far too complex, inventive, technically adept, constructive, playful, weird & shall we say “accomplished?” for the more blinkered sub-sections on the other end. Of course, that’s what makes the shit all the more exciting & mouth-watering aberrant/daring, but far too regularly, the lack of exposure & opportunity means that such exceptional acts may eventually desist or wayside. Japan is also a very difficult country for many musicians, with a horrible scene that’s been selectively partisan to specific artists & politely-defensive of controlled rackets/reputations for a long fuckin’ time. Certain bands have really hogged their positions & ruthlessly singularized their own agenda & entitlement, DEFINITELY to the expense of others in the field. Regionally there is often little inter-connectivity, much like the UK, which is stricken by a very similar predicament. Final Exit suffered from this shit for almost two decades (only over-turning this dramatically in the last few years after playing a slot at the commercial Grind festival & finally ‘blowing-up’). The Kanai brothers (Vampyric Motives, Sadistic Lingam Cult, Catasexual Urge Motivation) were also massively marginalized/ignored domestically, whilst one of the greatest Japanoise stentorians from Akita – Hiroshi Masaaki of Sewage, is barley known (he also ran an excellent quality CDR label called Freckle Records & performed in one of the fiercest & best User-Hostile Noisegrind groups of all time – Wage-Slave Exchange). It can sometimes look like a bit of a fuckin’ civil war situation, with groups vying for the attention & adulation-heavy career slots that international recognition & fixation can provide. Anyhow, Himitsu King would have probably had to contend with this shit, & it may well be why they are not still around. It is truly tragic that they dissolved, but thank fuck that such precious & special material/releases of theirs were produced for the world to wallow in. With but one exception, i know that all of their releases are long out of print (an extremely small number of selected titles are available through Gobbledy-Gunk/Jiogokuki) but the glorious split CD with Final Exit & Bollock Swine is still in print as is the DRF compilation CD (both through Jigokuki/Gob-Gunk, acquirable in Europe from firstname.lastname@example.org or Japan side email@example.com ).
Live! th mf’s were on a whole different outcrop! Arima sent me a video of one such outing (every occasion marked by different costumes) which I have just uploaded (unfortunately, two of the members are absent, leaving the core trio, wink-wink). Performances would always incorporate elaborate cosplay, different each time. Marvelous blat.
one of the greatest groups ever’ ever’ ever!!!