Shizuka - Heavenly Persona
Long-time-in-the-making first-time dbl LP pressing of one of the more elusive (and illusive!) moments in Japanese underground rock. It wasn't long ago we were talking about Shizuka's Lunatic Pearl 10" on An'Archives, a beautifully lilting collection of soft-psych murmurations that immediately gripped the senses. If you were a fan of that record but had yet to search for more, you might wanna sit down for this one - Heavenly Persona is truly a few levels above and beyond, a definitive statement not only in the admittedly scattered Shizuka catalogue, but within the whole anti-canon of Japanese psych/outer-rock. Formed by Shizuka Miura in Tokyo 1992 with her husband, Les Rallizes Denudes guitarist and Kaiji Haino sideman, Maki Miura, Heavenly Persona was to be their only studio album, an expansive recalibration of the blown-out psych dynamics characteristic of the city's thriving underground scene into something more dream-state driven. While this is obviously of a lineage, in love with the same ecstatic qualities of rock abandon that drove much of the P.S.F stable, its 1994 release date is instructive of a wider set of influences. Amongst the explosive guitar gestures are notable concessions to the same soft-toned romanticism explored by the likes of Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star and even early Red House Painters. Slow yawning, heavy yearning laments that unfold into epiphanous wonder, made raw by the emotional vulnerability of Shizuka's fearless singing. What she's singing about i can only guess at, though this is music you feel first and foremost, a direct hit to the chest. You can rationalise the specifics later, but then you might miss the point. I saw someone on Twitter describe this as 'Les Fully Realised Denudes', which is clever enough wordplay, but really only that, downgrading what both acts have to offer. LRD were exactly what they needed to be, the allure hidden in the unknown. Heavenly Persona is replete with its own particular mysteries, relatively clearer sounding (is there anything that isn't?), but drowned in complexities that aren't easy to square. And why must they be, anyway? Leave a little a little out of reach. 'HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDS' barely even scratches the surface. Buy on sight.
LT01: 70% wool, 15% polyester, 10% polyamide, 5% acrylic 900 Grms/mt