MINAMI DEUTSCH

Prog - - Limelight - GAVIN HOB­SON

In­for­ma­tion on Minami Deutsch is dif­fi­cult to come by. Ap­pear­ing in 2014, the Ja­panese trio put out a tape in 2015, also re­leased on 12-inch by Uk la­bel Car­di­nal Fuzz. Word of mouth led to ini­tial press­ings sell­ing out, and a 2016 per­for­mance at the Liver­pool in­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of Psychedelia proved to be a high­light. All this has led to a bois­ter­ous crowd pack­ing in for their de­but in the cap­i­tal.

For this evening’s per­for­mance, the band have ex­panded the line-up to a quar­tet, with the ad­di­tion of keita ise on bass. Wast­ing no time, the four launch into a new num­ber that has much in com­mon with the power-min­i­mal­ism of early Hawk­wind or Space­men 3, a sim­ple, steady riff that sounds like it will just re­peat un­til fade, but seven min­utes in, this starts to phase in and out as the band mess with the for­mula.

The first sign of the neu! in­flu­ence the band are renowned for oc­curs dur­ing Futsu ni ikire­nai, an­other song that quickly set­tles into a groove, but half­way through, a fuzzed solo from gui­tarist ky­otaro Mi­ula comes in that gen­uinely makes peo­ple jump. not to be out­done, Taku ide­moto takes his own wah-wah solo over the fade-out of his band­mate’s one.

The Michael Rother/klaus Dinger sound con­tin­ues on Sun­rise, Sun­set, a cir­cu­lar gui­tar pat­tern that sticks in the head. it would be an ob­vi­ous set closer from the re­leased ma­te­rial, but the band are ob­vi­ously con­fi­dent in their new songs, and push on with a num­ber that re­sem­bles the pas­toral prog psych of la­bel­mates kik­a­gaku Moyo.

The ac­tual set fi­nale is a fran­tic num­ber that sum­mons the spir­its of Can’s re­cently de­parted Hol­ger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit to the room. ide­moto sig­nals for the drum­mer’s at­ten­tion, and taps out a sug­gested beat on the body of his gui­tar for the fi­nal num­ber, a high­speed run-through of sin­gle Tun­nel.

Gigs like tonight are start­ing to shine a spot­light on a band that have been in the shad­ows quite long enough, and the skills honed on their Live krautrock night cov­ers events back in Ja­pan are now ren­der­ing au­di­ences near speech­less. Tonight, all that could be heard are cries of, “oh yeah!” Can would’ve been proud.

DRAKE HAS “BAROQUE EC­CEN­TRIC­ITY AND MELO­DRAMA”.

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