Crate Skimmers #3: BiS Kaidan – 2

Owned since: 2016-ish

Genre: J-pop by way of noise artists

Where I bought it: Long gone punk distro I bought tons of stuff

Year: 2015

Label/pressing: Avex Trax/Specific

“Holy fuck, I forgot I owned this” was my first reaction when I was going through my collection and found this in the weird corner I call electronic-pop. No idea why this is there because it belongs there but also very much doesn’t belong there. Man this record is odd, let’s get the weirdness out of the way.

BiS aren’t the Scottish electro-pop band but the alternative Idol group from Japan. Alternative in the sense they are still very much formed from auditions, but they always took a very left-field approach to video making and their music at times, the high-point being this record and the collab that became before it. Loads of punk influences, weird stunts (24 hours concerts come to mind) and other stuff still make up their main image. I am a big fan of their Who Killed Idol? record which spots the same line-up as this record and is also heavy indebted to digital hardcore and just is full of weird blast beats

Hijokaidan are one of Japan’s most classic noise music acts. Absolute legends in the field and still ongoing, with what started as more of a live performance art unit slowly morphing into a more studio based project that produces some insane noise. Always led by Jojo Hiroshige as their guitarist/prime noise maker, it just never seems to stop evolving and devolving. Their early stuff is pretty classic, but most of their best stuff for me lies in the early 10’s; the punishing Made in Studio which sees the band collaborate with various free jazz musicians. It rules so hard. For the record, they also include Incapacitants whose As Loud As Possible is my favorite noise record ever.

Legit it sounds like such an odd mix of people, but it all strangely started with Hijokaidan wanting to do work with a J-pop group and it led to live performances of BIS’s Nerve and Eat It and the first record. The first record is good, it has a vinyl mix which is a lot more noise heavy then the CD version but it’s, well, noise filled J-Pop. It’s so rare to see J-Pop bands work with artists outside their genre and this being the dying days of BIS’s first generation most likely led to the massive Avex Trax label giving them a free pass to work with Hijokaidan. Even more in the insane live shows they played for both records this, which included a live band backing beside the noise and a lot of utter mayhem including pig heads. Yes, pig heads.

Still, I think the second one is a huge improvement even if it was released after BiS disbanded already in 2014. Mostly consisting of Who Killed Idol tracks, it is a loud insane mix of a sound that is less general wall noise focused then the first record. It goes hard into the digital hardcore (STUPIG) of the originals and feels a lot more like a actual collaboration than the first one, which is mostly BiS tracks but noisy. Never really losing their catchy nature even through the loud tearing walls of screeching feedback laid over it. Weirdly, they go hand in hand and while this is clearly a record that everyone involved seemed to have loved to make, the gimmicky nature honestly works here. But mostly, this was made for live shows.

Record design looks absolutely great, with its black and pink cover art. The whole layout of the record just recalls Japanese legendary punk terrorists G.I.S.M.’s design work, which boy is hard to find some slightly SFW art for.

The vinyl version on Specific comes with an etching on the b-side, the record being 27 minutes means it fits on one side, of the bands logo which is pretty rad. Seen here my copy.

A gimmick record for sure but one that works well. Just it being printed on vinyl is hilarious already for such a weird collaboration but, hey, glad it exists.

Toot Sloughts: Not quite my bag, but love the gimmickry.