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Shakuhachi Surprise



In the U.S., Japan is notorious for its sugary sweet pop groups and its warped high-octane psycho-delic noise outfits. Tokyo's Space Streaklings is most definitely not the former. They could eat Shonen Knife for dinner. Hell, they could eat the Boredoms for dinner! Shonen Knife would just be an appetizer! In other words, they cook up an electronic hyper-spastic, neo-Dadaist Japanese messy stew that's so exciting you'll completely lose your taste for familiar foods. The foursome, comprised of multi-instrumentalists Screaming Stomach, Captain Insect, Karate Condor, and Kame Bazooka, has released a full-length, 1994's Nana-Toku, and a couple of seven-inches, all on Skin Graft.
     The members of Chicago's Mount Shasta are no slouches when it comes to manufacturing awesome amounts of noise, either, though they employ a more straight-up pure rock approach as opposed to Space Streakling's postmodern cut-ups and electronic noise terrorism. Mount Shasta keeps things angular, raucous, and eardrum-burstingly loud. The foursome got started in the early '90s and has put out three LPs -- '94's Put the Creep On, '95's Who's the Hottie?, and '98's Watch Out -- and a seven-inch, also on Skin Graft.
     So given what you know about these two bands now, you can imagine the unholy fury they might produce if they collided. Well that's just what happened on the 1996 record Space Streaklings Sighted over Mount Shasta, which the two bands recorded under the name Shakuhachi Surprise. The sound is unforgettably damaged, a horrifying many-alarm inferno of guitars, basses, horns, drums, distortion, tapes, effects-pedal pyrotechnics, and tortured, mostly Japanese vocals. Proceed with the utmost caution.