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This is fucking amazing, best thing I’ve heard in a long time. One of those times I’m gonna ask you to trust me and try something blind. I found on the excellent, partially defunct blog Cities On Flame, and decided to check it out for myself. RIP DIRK. -Ian!

Included here as representatives of the early ’70s festival scene, Datetenryu was an obscure cousin to Communist agitator bands Zuno Keisatsu (Brain Police), Yellow, Les Rallizes Denudés and Murahatchibu. Led by organist Masao Tonari, the band on UNTO[album] played a frantic hogwash of soul-based progressive space rock that inhabited the same territory as The the Soft Machine’s debut- LP period (imagine ‘Why Are We Sleeping?’ or ‘Hope For for Happiness’ by way of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’). Mainly instrumental, their music is a space trek through endless R&B riffs and classic soul moments, like some ever- unfolding medley. UNTO purports to be what the band members would have chosen had they had the opportunity to release an official debut album at the time, ie: a total barrage of lo-fi progressive garage rock. The 20-minute epic ‘Doromamire (Covered All Over In in Mud)’ is the killer, but really it’s all one insane 47-minute-long rush. Formed in May 1971, at Kyoto Sangyo (‘Industrial’) University, Datetenryu was a right bunch of refusenik longhairs. Masao Tonari set up sideways on to the rest of the band, while drummer Shogo Ueda played, head down, facing away from the stage pointing towards Tonari’s Yamaha organ. Indeed, guitarist Kei Yamashita appears to have been permanently out of proceedings in the same way that Yes’s Pete Banks and the Nice’s Davy O’List were forever being sidelined. Datetenryu’s biggest claim to fame, however, was the presence of bassist/singer Hiroshi Narazaki, who later became Hiroshi Nar and joined Les Rallizes Denudés, thereafter forming his own very excellent band the Niplets, who continue to perform right up to the present time.


Datetenryu-1971 (1971)



  1. Dear Ian,I've quickly fallen in love w/ Zamboni. I've recently moved back home (a painful statement in itself) to a small town in Missouri. I guess I could have looked harder for a job, but when talking to others in this recession you can't help but wonder "what's the point?" though (through my experience), it's not suprising for a music geek to feel detached in any part of the U.S., mid-mo is like being beached on an uncharted island in the musical sea.I'm enjoying the feeling the over-whelming amount of music i've been looking for as well as that which i wasn't familiar but yet to be causes dillusions of elloquentness, hahathanks again

  2. For those of yr readers who may be as anal as I am about this: the band's name & song titles as written in the original Japanese.BUT LIEK GRATE STUFF IN ANY LANGUIJ. Seriously, I like this a lot, and I love Japanese psychedelia in general. Have you heard any J.A. Caesar/Seazar/millionothertransliterations [J・A・シーザー]? Highly recommended.

  3. I was tempted to use hiragana briefly, but I didn't want to further obfuscate what I'm trying to sell to the other cultural plunderers. That doesn't really hold water now that I think about it.Also that cover is double plus fugly.

  4. Oh, I remember now. I surrender to the tyranny of the majority that is stats or freedb results.

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