This second live album by Fuji is the result of open-minded connection and deep friendships spread around the globe. And to be honest, it’s also an album that involved my being asked to contribute the artwork for its physical and digital release. That opportunity came out of an ongoing connection with Junzo Suzuki, who’s music continues to blow me off my feet. But despite any attempt at self-promotion, In Brussels, even packaged in a mouldy paper bag would still be an incredible sonic experience.
Fuji is, in essence the meeting of three remarkable axis, beamed straight from a fissure bristling with the most potent strain of adventurous psychedelic rock. Bart de Paepe (Sloow Tapes), Mik Quantius (most well-known as part of Embryo) and Junzo Suzuki (20 Guilders, Miminokoto) individually are worthy of a heady voyage but together, the potential is brain frying. In Brussels captures the trio accompanied by Louis Frèrer, Warre Fungus and Bram Borloo – seemingly losing their minds, live one night in Brussels in late 2018.
The opening track, nearly half an hour of Barlok initially teases with a web of noodling, teasing instrumentation as elements slowly align. Almost 6 minutes in, Quantius odd growled incantations start to seep through the smoke. Minutes later the trashing alien groove meshes like peak 1970. The vocals are now processed like bubbles in water as the motoric caveman explosion just keeps unfolding itself… 14 minutes in, after a bizarre lull, we drift into a cut that may well have been deemed too raw to have been included on the second half of Tago Mago. Ping ponging with Quantius again declaiming madly like an explorer from centuries ago that just found a lost world were dinosaurs still roam… The music ebbs and flows but always, there is a groove that is so heavy and maniacal, you can’t help but just submit totally to the shitstorm.
The second track Locked, stretched another huge sprawling 24 minutes. The elements of the first again bend and buckle over a mashing prehistoric groove. Channelling countless mind frying fragments of the past but still locked into something completely fresh and in the moment. The music builds and collapses over and over again but each time, stunningly bizarre new objects appear on the horizon.
Pulverised after the first two tracks, the final track Shit at a concise 13 minutes noisily pulls itself apart almost immediately. Atoms float in zero gravity like we’ve been dragged under Syd Barrett’s kaleidoscopic cape before the most fucked corroded cycle looms in over 7 minutes in and just loses itself over and over again in deeply corroding space.
In Brussels, musically, is beamed straight from a deeply trippy well. As an album, it begs to be played super loud but it’s Quantius odd vocal stylisation that truly elevates this into something spectacularly odd. What he’s saying, singing, ranting about isn’t important, but that gives this supremely spiky vicious psych rock a whole other layer that feels somehow impossible.
It’s a mess and at the same time a revelation. Hugely and loudly recommend.
In Brussels is out now on Plunk’s Plan Recordings