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Tetuzi Akiyama: Don’t Forget to Boogie

Few records are so satisfying, so fun, so exciting, and so innovative. This kind of magic occurs just frequently enough in the music industry that every year I discover something I never thought could exist so perfectly. Don’t Forget to Boogie happens to be my pick for the best record of 2003.

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Don’t forget to boogie is right. Although you’d be hard pressed to actually boogie to this collection of minimal, hyper repetitive blues riffs. Maybe bouncing in place or nodding hypnotically would be more appropriate. Akiyama is a stalwart of the Japanese improv scene along with Taku Sugimoto and Otomo Yoshihide, but here has chosen to let his bluesman freak flag fly. Well, sort of. While these pieces are all ‘blues’, the riffs are endlessly repeated and slowly become a fuzzy, Reich-ian guitar rock dronescape, at times sounding like Henry Flynt playing the Muddy Waters songbook, at others like a novice guitar player practicing the only riff they know, and still at others like a busker in the subway. Allan posited that this is either the dumbest record he’s ever heard, or the most amazing. I think I lean a little toward the latter. either way the overall affect is intoxicating and seriously hypnotic. And let’s not forget the impeccable Idea Records packaging. A gold embossed obi hugs the edge of a dark photo of Akiyama, looking all badass cowboy, at a table piled high with tommy gun, booze, electric guitar, full ashtray, knife, gold coins and of course a glass of milk. The back cover is a brownish/blackish haze, with a glossy old fashioned skull barely visible, printed on top. So nice. – https://www.aquariusrecords.org

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