what it is: overhang party
where i found it: wfmu
Recently WFMU, the best radio station in the world, has been playing a lot of studio recordings by a 90's Japanese band called the Overhang Party, largely because their complete studio output has just been re-issued in a nice new affordable box. I wasn't cool enough to know about them the first time around and had to take a little leap of faith as I could only find relatively small samples online, but I got inspired to pick up one of these boxes anyway. Over the course of the four disks you can experience the band evolve from obscure improv that sounds a little like someone building a house while a kid plays with instruments nearby to song structures to insistent piano and violin to ecstatic guitar solos to ugly garage rock to distorted Asian pop that sounds like it's been put through a pasta press and gotten stuck on repeat. While none of these elements sound like the most exciting thing in the world, the music is good throughout. They apparently have a lot of live bombastic psych releases floating around, but I think it's going to be a while before I can wear this box out. The main character here is Rinji Fukuoka, who runs a label and has a new and different band, but you can look that up on your own time. His guitar playing gets a medium rating on the indulgence meter and his engrish lyrics are a little funny, but he exist in a relatively tasteful place on the Japanese psych rock guitar continuum (one very brief overview of which you can see here and one long directory of which you can further explore here).