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Biography

At the 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival – a congregation of all things obscure, heavy and experimental in Tilburg, the Netherlands – two generations of Japanese Krautrock genius took to the stage for a live collaboration that was just as hypnotic as it was inevitable. The artists in question were Tokyo’s Minami Deutsch and the legendary ex-Can frontman Damo Suzuki.

With Minami Deutsch’s heady metronomic jams providing the backdrop on which Suzuki was left free to deliver his distinct improvised vocals, the Live At Roadburn LP is challenging raw and, at times, totally alien. Divided into three parts, from start to finish the LP is consumed by an unrelenting motorik rhythm section that never lets loose for a second. At the flick of a switch, intricate guitars veer from hypnotic and meditative to skewed psychedelic freak-outs drenched in fuzz.

Where Minami Deutsch’s playing is sharp and meticulous, the opposite can be said of Suzuki; whose bizarre, at times inaudible, stream-of-consciousness ramblings steer the music into whatever direction he sees fit. The result is equal parts disorientating, sporadic and totally all-consuming – the only thing keeping you grounded being that distorted and seemingly-endless 4/4 drive. Repetition.

Minimalism. Improvisation. Transcendence. That was the ideology of seminal Krautrock pioneers Can, whose 1970-1973 work with Damo Suzuki at the helm unleashed something in music that’d change it forever. Some 45 years since Can’s final record with Suzuki - the inimitable Future Days - and the freewheeling spirit of that era still lives on. Not least because ever since then Suzuki has embarked on an endless one-man tour, travelling around the world and taking to the stage backed by countless local bands of all stripes.

One place in-particular where Krautrock is embracing a true return to form is Japan, where a new school of bands are reinvigorating 60s and 70s kosmische musik for these humdrum times. Of those leading the charge is Minami Deutsch, who take the driving, minimal beats and howling guitars of the Kraut greats and bring them crashing into the 21st Century.

Formed back in 2014, the band have been picking up a formidable international reputation for their deeply-mesmerising and powerful live shows.

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