Agi Jo - Ikiteru Dake No Koto Nanda (Hardly Living)
Japan Blues stay true to their name with this reissue of an impossibly obscure 7" of Japanese protest folk 'pop'. So, where to start.... Agi Jo is an alias of Yuzuru Agi, the founder of legendary Japanese experimental electronic label Vanity Records, and producer of many of its records, though this single, originally self-released a decade before Vanity was established, belongs to an entirely different musical headspace. Nonetheless, the radical spirit that Agi would apply to Vanity is still present, Side A in particular an existential protest song that rages against social conformity and inequalities, performed with an unusual intensity that musically suggests an affinity with Western folk-hippiedom but vocally feels far more visceral and impassioned, aligned more with garage rock like aggression of, say, a band like The Seeds. It's a curious and compelling mix, and one certainly deserving of being plucked from the abyss. Agi went on to make some truly groundbreaking music later in his later, but you can feels the fires burning right from the start.
LT01: 70% wool, 15% polyester, 10% polyamide, 5% acrylic 900 Grms/mt