Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

After Dinner
After Dinner/Live Editions

Released 1991 on ReR
Reviewed by Usiim Caan, 20/10/2001ce

After Dinner was a group from Osaka Japan that merged traditional Japanese music, chamber music, psychedelic/experimental with catchy, off kilter songs.
This group only made two full length albums together. This and the similarily amazing Paradise of Replica.
This group is led be Haco, a very taleneted and underrated artist. She's appeared on Acid Mother Temple albums and has many solo albums of her own which are all mesmerizing.
I picked up this album after hearing that a Haco song on a Fred Frith documentary. I was grabbed by her voice and the originality of her music. She is known to play a toothbrush and a sugar bowl live.
This is After Dinner's first album. It opens with an eerie sing along. The song After Dinner is more like an anti-anthem. It sounds as if it might fall apart at any moment, which in fact it does. During this time there is a yelling voice and sparse, tribal drumming. Then the melody returns and brings us back into the nursury rhyme nightmare.
Sepia-Ture opens with jazzy laid back strumming. Even the simplest of songs on here are tampered with.
Sonya-Doll continues with the Residents-like drone and funny tape sounds. Haco sings in an innocent voice as if she's remaining calm in the middle of a city that's falling apart. This song bounces and twitches until it fades. Being in such a trance one might not even notice!
The next song was designed to be listened to on head phones. When moving your head back and forth the sound of the song changes. It's good that the song is short though or else my head would really hurt.
The next track is the catchiest and most elaberate on the album. Cymbals at Dawn opens with simple military drumming and whistling. It then goes through stages of catchy pop, tape hiss, pseudo disco, and new wave. All this acomplished in four and a half minutes!
Glass Tube is an eerie piece of mood music that includes Haco's shredded voice. From there it takes you to a horror film soundtrack and back to a desolate drone.
The live tracks weren't on the original release but were later added. All of which are amazing. Some which are on this album and some that are on Paradise of Replica. All the live songs are far different from the original versions.
After Dinner is subtle, hypnotic and bizarre. They take the freedom found in post punk, new wave and psychedelia and transport them into a Japanese setting. This IS like nothing you've ever heard.
Listening to After Dinner is like submerging yourself in water and going to sleep while playing Kate Bush on one CD player and traditional Japanese music on another.
There is madness and huge amounts of fun in the music After Dinner made. Someday Haco will be considered the absolute genuis and star that she deserve to be. Until then I'll just keep playing this album again and again.

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