Erebus Rec. Tokedashita Garasu Bako (="Melting Glass Box") (JAP,1970)****
A really great example of original creative songwriting and music on the interesting, early URC label, that was launched after a first folk boom influence from America, this meant the exploration of an original new Japanese identity and sound. Tokedashita Garasu Baku was a super group that featured many members that came from early psych bands. It was led by Takashi Nishioka (vocals,guitar,percussion, words and music), a singer who was part of the early acid/psychfolk band Itsutsu no Akai Fusen in the 60s. After this he would become an important singer-songwriter with a solo career. The band also featured members from Happy End/Apryl Fool/ Yellow Magic Orchestra (the bass player), Jacks (the drummer, flutist, arranger), Blues Creation (the guitarist,the bassist and the keyboard player), Folk Crusaders (guitarist ; -he later will be part of the Sadistic Mika Band-), all early psych bands, besides folk singer Saito Tetsuo. Like in Itsutsu no Akai Fusen and Folk Crusaders there has been some interesting subtle fusing experiments between Japanese folk and psych music, like on the opener or on the fifth track, or some garage pop psych influence like with Jacks, like on the third track. Mostly we hear sad ballads in a specific song style with effects of droning organ, stoned acoustic guitars and subtle stoned overdubs on voice (on the fourth track), fuzz guitars, attractive rhythms and a few subtle folky arrangements, and improvised flute, and here and there a weird electronic keyboard effect. The fourth track has some violin orchestration, especially the last song is fully orchestrated besides simple acoustic guitar. The album has a really attractive sound and shows really subtle the early avant-garde experiments of mixing various influences together even when the pop ballads still lead the music.