AMN Reviews: Suzuki Junzo – If I Die Before I Wake (2016; Utech Records)


On this release, guitarist Suzuki is joined by drummer Ikuro Takahashi for six long tracks of Krautrock-inspired improvisation. Suzuki’s guitar positively soars through driving psychedelia and space rock. But he also has a side that is more influenced by Derek Bailey. Teamed with Takahashi, who is known for contributions to Fushitsusha among others, Suzuki powers through heavy and dense swathes of feedback, echo, and delay. Not every track is all-out, however, and Suzuki does slow it down a bit to create textural guitarscapes now and again. Takahashi stays busy throughout, not unlike recent percussion work from Balázs Pándi.

The album ends with two tracks from a 2014 live recording in San Francisco. The overall result is a nice 65-minute slab of metallic distortion, and congratulations to Utech Records on their 100th release.