Julian Cope presents JAPROCKSAMPLER.COM

People

Released in answer to Ikuzo Orita’s superb ‘Polydor Super Session’ series of LPs, this riposte/rip-off, written by Buddhist poet/songwriter Naoki Tachikawa and organised by Teichiku Records’ A&R director Hideki Sakamoto, challenged every one of Orita’s projects and beat most of them cold simply by working though Orita’s own blueprint line by line. People even deployed the arsenal of Orita’s own guitar star ex-Outcast hired gun Kimio Mizutani, whose subtle licks inform the entire work. Mizutani shines brightest on side one’s 12-minute drone chant ‘Shomyo Part One’, but the bluesy bell tone of ‘Shomyo Part Two’ is pure and exquisite cosmic monotony, as is that employed on ‘Flower Strewing’, which elevates the track right out of authentic religious bore into a Funkadelic Deadmarch. On the five-minute wa-funk of ‘Gatha’, the apparently egoless Mizutani conjures up a typical Hideki Ishema-style axe scrawl giving the track a sound just like Kuni Kawauchi’s KIRIKYOGEN. By the middle of side two, the tension has broken and the record starts to sound like Tim Leary’s 7UP collaboration with Ash Ra Tempel, as orgasmic Gille Lettmann/Rosi Muller-style female shrieks overwhelm ‘Prayer’. Director Sakamoto kept it all spacey and minimal, then adding plenty more LUMPY GRAVY-period Frank Zappa and mucho David Axelrod (whence came many of the original concepts) to the stew. As if to prove People’s pragmatism, ‘Epilogue’ concludes with 2-minutes of jamming over Axelrod’s immaculate ‘Holy Thursday’ from SONGS OF INNOCENCE. People’s success is their tenacity in holding on both to the drone and, therefore, to the metaphor, which permeates the entire recording and lays serious meditative usefulness on to the listener. This LP is featured at number 16 in Japrocksampler's Top 50, and its status as a so-called 'Super Session' is given further historical context in Book Two, Chapter Five (pages 133-136).

Julian Cope
Discography:
  • CEREMONY - BUDDHA MEETS ROCK (Teichiku, 1971)
  • People - CEREMONY - BUDDHA MEETS ROCKCEREMONY - BUDDHA MEETS ROCK
  • People - CEREMONY - BUDDHA MEETS ROCKCEREMONY - BUDDHA MEETS ROCK

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