sabato 22 ottobre 2011

Tales of a pretentious asshole#001

As you might have noticed, I like to buy round shaped pieces of vinyl. Yeah, I do consider myself a record collector. "Tales of a pretentious asshole" will be about a certain band discography that I do consider to have completed. Please do not expect to see here pictures of multiple copies of the same records, different pressings, every stupid & useless vinyl color/cover variations or other similar bullshits. Also, keep in mind I'm not a completist so I don't care about bootlegs, discographies or live recordings. Once I got one copy (the first press, of course!) of a certain record, I'm a happy dude. And of course keep in mind that I play these records regulary. They were not supposed to only accumulate dust in a shelf!
Let's start with the band that introduced me to the wonderful world of japanese hardcore/ punk: Frigöra

I was introduced to Frigöra by Manabu of Senseless Apocalypse/ Blurred Records. I've interviewed him around 1995. The questions were pretty shitty and his answers were extremely stupid in a funny way (unfortunately I've lost the original one, I only have the  translation in italian). When he sent back to me the answers, he was kind enough to throw in a couple of records that he just put out: the Vivisection/Genocide SS split ep and the Frigöra/Diskonto split. Respectively the limited editions on blue and green vinyls. At that time I was mainly into noise/grindcore and I hadn't heard Mob 47 yet but I immediately fell in love for the simple and abrasive sound of these weird japanese maniacs that were singing in swedish. According to the review I wrote at that time, I didn't like at all the Diskonto side. 16 years later, my opinion hasn't changed at all.
Around 2003 I've ended up trading my copy for a certain record that I wanted badly at that time. Once I sent it out, I've immediately regretted it. It took me several years to score a second copy and this time it was neither for free nor on green wax.  
According to Blurred Records, a total of 1000 were pressed. 300 on green, 700 on black. My first copy was on classic green transparent wax, but I saw copies on coke bottle/ clear wax. To this day, it's still my favourite Frigöra release. 

If I'm not wrong, the very first record that Frigöra released was their self titled ep that also came out during 1995 on Fuck Fashion Town label from Japan. 500 handnumbered copies. Their rarest and most sought after release. The songs featured here are from the same recording session of the Diskonto split. I've searched for a copy of this for several years. I've finally managed to get a copy only this year when I've visited japan in january. It was a bit overpriced but it was the copy in better conditions I've ever seen. Plus, when I finally hold it in my hands, I knew that I would have punched myself in the nuts forever if I came out of Shibuya's Disk Union without it.
Frigöra are unanimously considered to be the best Mob 47 clone ever and for a good reason. Nobody has ever been able to reproduce that sound so perfectly as  Frigöra did. Although, I won't call them a mere clone band: in my opinion they had enough personality to be considered a band on their own. That said, I must admit that they did nothing to hide their main influence. The artwork of the "s/t" ep is indeed a blatant rip off/ homage to Mob 47: 

Around 1998 they finally released their only full-length "dance of the plague bearer" on the cult japanese label Overthrow. Not sure how many of this were made, but my guess is less than 1000. Recently saw on eBay a copy that came with two patches. Got mine this year in the same record shop where I found the "s/t" ep. Got it for way less than the current eBay price so I didn't complain and just grabbed it. It comes on a beautiful folding paper sleeve with lyrics printed inside. Am I the only one who thinks the artwork remind a lot the Wretched "libero di vivere/ libero di morire" one? Nerd note: there's one riff in "strid fortsatta" that is identical to an Inmates one (can't remember exactly the song but it's from their lp).
I've heard people affirming that this is the worst Frigöra release. Bullshit. This is as solid as the eps, maybe just a bit slower.
If you want my opinion, these are all the Frigöra records you need. There's also a "live at Shinjuku Antiknock 1995" bootleg lp, some tapes and a semi-official lp that compiles their eps and the demo they recorded under the name of Liberacao. A couple of years ago a discography cd with all their stuff has been released in japan.
Here's a complete discography I've tried to put together. Please get in touch if something is wrong/missing:

-Liberacao demo 1995, ???
-Frigöra "s/t" 7", F.F.T.label, 1995, 500 made
-Frigöra/Diskonto split 7", Blurred Records, 1995, 1000 made
-Frigöra/NPH split tape, 1995, ???
-Frigöra "demo 1996" ???
-Frigöra "dance of the plague bearer" lp, Overthrow, 1998, ???
-Frigöra"s/t" lp, Hamndkansla Rekords, ???
-Frigöra "live '95" lp,  Hamndkansla Rekords, ???
-V.A. - Chaos Of Destruction - 3xLP, Dan Doh, 2005, ???
-Frigöra "1995-1999" cd, 2008, ???

In 1999 they disbanded. I'm pretty sure at least one member now plays in Ferocious X. Their only interview I've ever seen was in Crust War 'zine#5 but it's in japanese. If you can  translate it, please get in touch.

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