Brought into the world kicking and screaming and still at it on sophomore LP ‘Line The Wall’, Bo Ningen arrived when Taigen and Kohhei’s post-rock bands played on the same bill in early 2007. It was bad news for their previous band-mates but each had found a kindred spirit, someone else who wanted to leave ‘rock’ and the dead-end cipher ‘post’ behind and commit to something much weirder.
Mon Chan and Yuki joined in a similar fashion, hearing the beyond-fucked-up noises of this new two-piece at the LCC Sound Art Faculty where Taigen studied and asking where to sign up. With a drummer and a second guitarist, the fundamentals were laid and the four expatriate cosmonauts were set to channel the “pure music” they had in mind.
The band booked themselves into a studio on Hackney Road and disappeared. In summer 2007, after continual 12 hour jams had blurred the distinction between their limbs and their instruments, they played the first “true” Bo Ningen show at the Wilmington Arms. The story of the next two years followed a fairytale pattern of adversity, headaches and eventual catharsis on the London gig circuit. Battered but resolute, they set up Far East Electric Psychedelic, a what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of monthly at Cross Kings.
Though they come from Gunmma, Tajimi, Nishinomiya, and Tokyo, they coalesced in London. Musically, they channel their country’s legacy of obscure, brain-warping heavy-psych: Les Ralizes Denudés, High Rise, Sweet and Honey and Flower Travellin’ Band all traceable beneath their esoteric sound. It’s evident from the place they had all found themselves in their twenties however that they were in the mood for discovery: they regurgitated their tastes in Acid Folk and Noise and hurled them into the electric cataclysm too. Though challenging to process, any cautious, sensible listeners were saved by a weighty dose of Sabbath and Nirvana.
By Edgar Smith
Photo’s 1 & 2: Cat Stevens/ Photo 4: Christina Smith/ Photo 5: Georgia Kuhn/ Photo 6: Clare Shilland