Les Rallizes Denudes
December 20, 2011 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Although the ultra-mysterious and rumour-cloaked Les Rallizes Dénudés/Hadaka no Rallizes existed in various forms from November 1967 to their last gig in October 1996 they are practically unknown in - let alone out of - Japan. Their recorded output is incredibly rare and highly priced and interviews or articles in the music press virtually non-existent. Tie that in with links to radical left-wing politics, extreme sensory assault at live shows and a general revolutionary aura and you have what must be the ultimate cult group.

The name "Les Rallizes Dénudés" apparently comes from "a Japanese word ('rallizes') presented as a French noun, then qualified by the French word for 'stripped bare,' or 'unveiled.' ... [At their first gig] they billed themselves as 'Haddaka No Rallizes'; this, a Japanese friend tells me, simply means 'naked and fucked up.'"

The band's original bassist, Moriaki Wakabayashi, was a member of the Japanese Red Army, participated in the failed Yodogo hijacking in 1970, and spent the next 32 years in exile in North Korea.

And now, the music!

A few random songs to start with: From the '77 Live bootleg – apparently the most common point of entry into the band's music: From Cable Hogue: From the Volcanic Performace box set: Live at University Western Auditorium, Kyoto, 10 July 1994: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.
posted by twirlip (12 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
YES. I want to live inside this post.
posted by naju at 3:06 PM on December 20, 2011

Love this band. Deep psych indeed.

Their recorded output is incredibly rare

Only if you don't count downloads? I've got lots of LRD and it's all from the Internet.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:06 PM on December 20, 2011

in b4 it was cool!
posted by indubitable at 3:21 PM on December 20, 2011

"Rare" in that very little was officially released, and then in small quantities. There is indeed a ton of stuff available through the usual channels online, not to mention a bunch more videos on YouTube (mostly live footage of variable quality). I love the Internet.
posted by twirlip at 3:25 PM on December 20, 2011

Heavier Than A Death In The Family, other than being a great title, is probably my favourite record of theirs. It's not listed in their official discography so I wanted to give it a mention.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:43 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

As with other underexposed music scenes and bands, particularly of the psychedelic variety, Julian Cope has extolled their virtues at length, in this case in his book Japrocksampler.
posted by snofoam at 3:51 PM on December 20, 2011

i just read in an old guitar magazine neil young saying that he didn't know theory or scales, that his guitar playing was basically "looking for the notes that aren't there"

this guy finds a lot of those notes
posted by pyramid termite at 4:14 PM on December 20, 2011

This is cool stuff - thanks for the introduction, twirlip.
posted by carter at 4:29 PM on December 20, 2011

agree with stinkycheese, Heavier is a fantastic record
posted by facetious at 5:38 PM on December 20, 2011

My brother curated the film about the band at a small theatre in Williamsburg, Brooklyn late last month. It was seriously an assault on the viewer - as if the band did obviously not give a fuck about their audience. Apparently, the filmmaker and the band did not get along, and as such, the band did not want the filmmaker around, which comes across pointedly in every. single. scene. in the film.

My wife, and several other people walked out at various times. It's really, really assaultive.

The film is titled "Les Rallizes Denudes" by Ethan Mousike, and is readily torrentable, which I will not post links to.

Seriously assaultive.
posted by jivadravya at 5:41 PM on December 20, 2011 [3 favorites]

Sounds up my alley, jivadravya.
posted by naju at 6:35 PM on December 20, 2011

They're brilliant. Agree that there's plenty available online. Thanks for the film nod jivadravya - I'll definitely check it out.
posted by Magnakai at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2011

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