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Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Live Aoiheya January 2003
Format: CD EP
Label: Chapter Music
Country: Australia
Price: $12.00
"Maher Shalal Hash Baz is the oddly-named band for Japanese cult figure Tori Kudo and his wife Reiko (the name is apparently a Hebrew biblical phrase that Tori translates as ⿿be quick if you mean to steal something⿝). Since the late 1970s, Tori has been a pioneering figure in Japanese punk, post-punk and avant-garde circles, beginning with bands such as GuysnDolls, Cock CNell, Noise and Tokyo Suicide (a cover band dedicated to New York synth-punk pioneers Suicide). Tori formed Maher Shalal Hash Baz in the mid 80s with neighbours who could not play any instruments, and for the better part of 20 years has been pursuing a single-minded vision of music as simple, spontaneous and unpredictable. The bands always changing lineup of anywhere from three to thirty people features mostly untrained musicians playing music often shown to them on the day of its performance, expressing the innate beauty of failure as much as of success. The band began releasing records in 1989, but did not come to worldwide attention until a decade later, when their marvelously ambitious triple album Return Visit To Rock Mass was released. MSHB were invited to tour outside of Japan for the first time. In 1999, when UK label Geographic released From A Summer To Another Summer, a compilation of Maher recordings. Soon the band were touring the US and Europe regularly, and Geographic released their most recent album Blues Du Jour in 2003. Live Aoiheya January 2003 documents an entire brief performance by this unique band, incidentally the first Maher show that Chapter boss Guy Blackman saw after moving to live in Japan in 2002 (he returned to Melbourne in 2004). It captures the band in a variety of guises unusual even for them, including an extended abstract instrumental, songs based on conversations between band members, passages by Japanese composers, vocal relays and a Brahms Waltz. In the EPs 26 minutes Maher Shalal Hash Baz manage to cover more ground than most bands do in their whole career, all the while maintaining a spirit and idiosyncracy that is idenitifiably their own." - Chapter Music.

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Blues Du Jour
Format: LP
Label: Geographic
Country: Scotland
Price: $20.00
"Blues Du Jour is the stunning new album by Japanese elemental visionaries Maher Shalal Hash Baz featuring some of their warmest and most accessible music to date. Tori Kudos songs and sketches often recall the quirkiness of the Incredible String Band or the English nursery rhyme pastoralism of Syd Barrett. From the avant-pop masterpiece Open Field to the bossa nova of Post Ofiice, this is a playful album that bursts with creativity. This 41 track masterpiece is Maher Shalal Hash Bazs first new album since their legendary opus, Return Visit To Rock Mass -- one of the most collectable Japanese albums of all time." - Geographic.
SOLD OUT

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Cest La Derniere Chanson
Format: Double CD
Label: K
Country: USA
Price: $16.00
"Tori Kudo, the conductor and band leader of MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ, fuses stray elements of pop, folk, jazz and experimental music into pieces of candid musical gestures. Cest La Derniere Chanson is a double album of songs composed by Kudo between 2005-2007. For the recordings, Kudo assembled nine musicians from Japan and bunkered down for six days in St. Pierre-Eglise, France. Bassoon, guitar, drums, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, glass percussion, organ, rocks and sticks are expanded by a sophisticated counter-repetition technique into an extensive tonal range of colors; the effect is at turns serene, dissonant, enchanting, crisp, spacious and maddeningly catchy. The future of music on Planet Earth. Listen closely, please." - K Records.
SOLD OUT

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: LAutre Cap
Format: LP
Label: K
Country: USA
Price: $12.50
"Composing his music to be played by amateur musicians, TORI KUDO, the enigmatic conductor of MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ, has been called "The Master of Mistake". On LAutre Cap he is a wickedly inspired bandleader, presenting a tight package of twenty-seven songs both fierce and fragile. Barely held together by the threads these songs seem just a note away from falling apart completely. The effect is at turns serene, dissonant, enchanting, rockin, and intensively catchy-fusing the most captivating elements of twisted jazz, psychedelic rock rebellion, and dreamy pop chamber music to form a most intimate and cohesive vision of the future of music on Planet Earth." - K.
SOLD OUT

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Souvenir De Mauve
Format: CD
Label: Majikick
Country: Japan
Price: $18.00
Latest from Tori Kudos long running project - released on the Puka Puka Brians label, Majikick. Supposedly marketed as a CD single even though it contains over 60 minutes of music. Features 8 shortish songs in the post-"Rough Trade era Red Krayola" primitive psych pop arena Toris been mining for awhile now and 3 tracks (totaling over 40 minutes) of solo piano. Possibly the most "listenable" Maher release to date!
SOLD OUT

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Hello New York
Format: LP
Label: OSR Tapes
Country: USA
Price: $14.00
“Tori Kudo and Reiko Kudo began Maher Shalal Hash Baz in the mid-80s & it has grown since into a multi-continental concern with a changing cast of true members of varying background & experience . as usual , any brief synopsis would be defective & by way of introduction you would be best advised to listen to the many extant recordings on youtube & read the many & comprehensive interviews published over the years . their first full-length record since 2009s Cest La Derniere Chanson , Hello New York was recorded in September 2014 when nearly a dozen members of Maher coalesced in New York for the occasion of a 30th anniversary gig . we holed up here at the sweltering Manual FX basement and worked for the majority of their stay on my deficient rig , joined intermittently by a gaggle of superfans like myself who couldnt pass up the opportunity to throw down a few notes on a Maher record (its unfashionable to wax autobiographical in this context but I will say that Maher was one principal light that brought me into music as a younger youngster & gave me the hope necessary to start this sort of enterprise in a dim world of hollow culture)
Maher is often represented incorrectly by the Western press , who have typically lampooned its lack of traditional musical dramaturgy as a kind of "naivist" aestheticism & its emphasis on miracular playing as a sign of its instrumentalists deficiency , and refused to see the communal nature of the group & the nonlinear relationship between Toris composition & the groups playing . in fact , what is really unusual about Maher isnt any one specific quality or principle , but the extreme reverence appreciable in the music for what is beyond words and available only in experience , and a concomittant indeterminacy on all levels , always busy in the middle : composition v. improvisation , the page v. the ear , the group v. the writer , style v. content , the beyond v. the worldly , etc... Tori is drawn to spiritual themes , with many lyrics adapted from Bible verse , not as an aesthetic conceit but as one tool for working through this life . actually , the bands Western aestheticization is ironic given the direct critical treatment Toris lyrics give to that sort of process (see "Epignosis" with its "the 60s carries weight with you // you like it better than your wife , son , brothers & sisters") ... but enough of that sort of talk . we all did our best on this revelatory rock record & I will always remember it !” - OSR.

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Kunitachi Kibun (84 & 85)
Format: CD
Label: PSF
Country: Japan
Price: $21.00
"Maher Shalal Hash Baz stand at the pinnacle of Tori Kudos eccentric and beguiling musical weltanschauung, a stew of soaring melodic genius, naïve wisdom and the eternal amateur freshness of left-footing your own brain. Emperors of error, indeed. Their very special talent has been recognized by a slew of underground labels across the world and garnered them famous friends and fans aplenty including The Pastels. But until now, the very earliest roots of the band have remained shrouded in misty tendrils of mystery. Kunitachi Kibun delves deep into the bands beginnings, presenting two previously unreleased gigs, including their first show from December 1984 when they played in a legendary triple header with High Rise and Kosokuya at the Kid Airaku Hall in Tokyo. The second show from six months later includes an appearance by the late alto saxophonist Masami Shinoda. Both soar with idiot-savant genius, Toris truly distinctive guitar and vocals creating their own idiot-savant networks of logic with the rest of the group. A stupendous glimpse into a simpler world of communal transcendence and music making." - Alan Cummings.

Artist: MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ
Title: Faux Depart
Format: CD
Label: Yik Yak
Country: USA
Price: $10.00
"a collection of songs by japanese underground shambolic-pop legends Maher Shalal Hash Baz, inspired by their visit to the west coast and recorded at Dub Narcotic with help from the Curtains, McCloud Zicmuse, and Arrington de Dionyso on bass clarinet. also includes a rousing rendition of Bright Lights for guitar, bassoon, and drums as well as live tracks from their northwest shows. limited edition with letterpressed jacket." - Yik Yak.

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