< Prayer For Chibi >
Holy Mountain / 2957
2 CD (disc1- 61:23 / disc2 - 62:04)
released February 18, 2008

Prayer For Chibi

Disc 1
1 Prayer

2 The Rain Falls
3 Till We Meet Again
4 Becoming a Flower

Disc 2
1 Resurrection Night
In The Clouds
3 The Stars Know All
4 Cherry

(You can hear a sample when you click a title of a musical composition. These file format is m3u.)

Produce by Holy Mountain.
Recorded at Audible Alchemy
by Jacob Hall and Steven Wray Lobdell, March 2007.
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering.
Distributed by Revolver USA.

Translation by Alan Cummings.
Picture by Kageo.
Design and illustration by Piotr Dubiel.

Suishou no Fune
Pirako Kurenai (guitar,vocal)
Kageo (guitar,vocal)
The CD album of two pieces of new sets of Suishou No Fune is announced in few days.
This album was recorded in a studio of Portland in March, 2007 by Holly Mountain.
"Chibi" was a love cat of Pirako and Kageo. He died for a disease on February 13, 2007.
This album is a memorial album to him.
(Suishou No Fune)

Suishou No Fune originated in Tokyo's fertile psychedelic scene. After landing a spot on PSF's Tokyo Flashback 5 and releasing Where the Spirits Are in 2006, the group ventured out from Japan and took every opportunity to play across the United States and Europe. During one of these trips in the spring of 2007, the group--down to the crucial duo of Pirako and Kageo--went into a recording studio for a few days and laid down these massive new tracks.
Prayer for Chibi might be the ultimate Suishou no Fune album; with two disks and more than two hours of music, the group finally stretches out and lets their music flow like it never has before. Much about Suishou no Fune has had to do with volume, but this new set of duets adds forays into starker songwriting and a languid serenity that works to make one feel as if it were necessary to hold one's breath through the entire album.
(Holy Mountain)

Japanese guitar duo, Suishou No Fune unleash a personal two-disc collection of songs memorializing their cat Chibi who passed away last year after suffering an illness. A blue-filter and gauze and were not used solely to create effect for the photographs and layout of the album; the entire recording comes to the listener in a haze through a blue-filter and gauze. This is a lengthy collection to take in one sitting, but one that is extremely rewarding. Suishou No Fune have made an album that is starkly-serious; a mind-altering, psych-blues album dealing with the themes of death and sorrow. A contemplative soundtrack to grief that is far more reserved in terms of pure sonic power than their previous releases. Prayer for Chibi opts for a sparser, more subtle path, allowing each string and bent-note to ring out as though gravity had lost its hold setting the music free to float in slow-motion amongst the haunting voices. The album is almost ballad-like throughout with the opening track on the second disc as the only notable exception. This more restrained sound is the perfect aesthetic choice for handling these solemn songs of remembrance; a poetry focusing on life and death and the hope of spiritual resurrection. Each track finds one searching in nature, the sky, and in the wind for traces of proof that those who have left us are still with us in some way. This is yet another example of what makes Pirako and Kageo the amazing artists that they are. A quintessential album. Highly recommended!
(foxy digitalis U.S.A / Todd Brooks 8 April, 2008)


Its eight tracks spread across two-hour-plus discs of sometimes difficult emotional terrain, the epic Prayer for Chibi is Suishou No Fune's widest ranging effort so far, and an unexpectedly personal release in a style not often known for its emotional heft. Chibi was the pet cat of guitarists Kageo and Pirako Kurenai, who died in February 2007. A brief and purely factual description like "Japanese psychedelic rock duo record a two-disc memorial to their deceased cat" makes Prayer for Chibi sound like fodder for a tossed-off joke in a sequel to This Is Spinal Tap, but animal lovers understand the outpouring of emotion that surrounds the death of a beloved pet, and Suishou No Fune's brand of intimate psychedelia has always been more concerned with the heart than the head. Therefore, the first disc's four tracks are lyrical in their mournfulness, culminating in the achingly beautiful "Becoming a Flower," which features a simply lovely solo, filled with blue notes, that recalls '60s U.K. folk legends like John Renbourn and Davy Graham. The second disc opens with the unexpectedly harsh, feedback-driven "Resurrection Night," the disc's one extended showcase of the duo's connection to the Japanese noise scene, yet even it is a harnessed and stately piece, more in keeping with Sonic Youth's beauty-in-chaos approach to the skronky aggression of, say, Merzbow. The rest of disc two moves closer to the somber feel of disc one, but lacking its wistfulness and delicacy; closing track "Cherry" almost verges on electric blues in its naked emotion. The CD liner notes include English translations of the songs' sparse Japanese lyrics, but even without them, the quiet heartbreak of Prayer for Chibi is obvious.
(allmusic U.S.A / Stewart Mason)


The new double-disc from Japan's most consistently brilliant psychedelic duo may be their best one yet -- no small feat, given both the quality of their previous material and the sheer length of this outing. The four lengthy tracks on the first disc feature Pirako and Kaego at their dreamiest and most meditative; hypnotic, measured strumming, cloudlike ambience, and minimal but piercing single-note guitar lines play out with deliberate slowness as they take turns singing. On "Till We Meet Again," the floating trance vibe finally erupts in a shower of noise that's still muted enough not to obscure the melancholy guitar notes. The other three songs are more languid but every bit as emotionally charged, powered by the stark minimalism that has become both their singular trademark and secret weapon. The second disc is more aggressive, opening with a burst of grinding noise and horn-like guitar on "Resurrection Night"; the song's grinding noise content takes a back seat to the plaintive guitar lines and Pirako's wailing vocals, but remains a steady fixture throughout the song. The rest of the disc is not quite so abrasive, but the remaining songs are a bit more dynamic and foreboding while retaining much of the simple feel of the songs from the first disc. The closing track, "Cherry," is one of the most beautiful pieces on the disc, too (and another one that eventually turns noisy, but it's an entrancing sort of noise, natch). I'm sure a lot of potential listeners will be intimidated by the album's length, but trust me, this is one' of the band's best releases, and absolutely essential listening for fans of Japanese psych.
(THE ONE TRUE DEAD ANGEL U.S.A / June 22, 2008)

Formed in 1999 by guitarists Pirako Kurenai and Kageo, Suishou No Fune has pursued a pretty singular cause in their nine years. Working a rich vein that picks up the Velvet Underground’s influence right where Les Rallizes Denudes left it, these two play slow-motion ballads, plying thick, droning guitars with hefty doses of feedback and distortion. That much of the material on their handful of releases has been captured live in concert is hardly surprising; after all, these lengthy, languid pieces are truly of the moment, tumbling forth with a voluminous presence that was obviously created to fill voids both spiritual and physical. Though recorded in the studio, there’s hardly a thin or underworked moment throughout both discs of Suishou No Fune’s Prayer for Chibi, their latest long player (and a sprawling, two-disc behemoth of an album at that). Created as a memorial to their dearly departed cat, Prayer is tonally split across its two discs; the first focuses on gauzy, almost transparent guitar tones and textures, while the second digs much deeper to unearth more harrowing performances. In keeping with the theme of memorial, it’s almost as if the first half focuses on remembrance, allowing the second half to confront the void of loss head-on. While unmistakably possessed by the same demons that can make Fushitsusha such a harrowing experience, there’s still a certain levity to Prayer for Chibi’s front half that grants each track an almost indisputable weightlessness. Here, the guitars are diffuse, stretching out into gauzy streams of consciousness that mesh with the lofting, intertwined vocals of Kurenai and Kageo. While the idea of corporeal transience plays out again and again in the lyrics, the sounds that accompany them make for some of the sweetest moments the band has ever committed to tape. The mammoth “Prayer” opens the album by shaking off shackled percussion, gradually granting a slow blues the freedom to roam across the stratosphere. Later, “Till We Meet Again” plots a similar course, matching simple, melodic guitar lines against a backdrop of steadily darkening drone. Dealing in altogether different shades, Prayer for Chibi’s second disc opens on far more tempestuous ground, with the leads of “Resurrection Night” launching headlong into a constantly encroaching din. It’s a stark contrast to the almost genteel nature of grief explored earlier, and one that cuts to the core with an ever-sharpening blade. Most harrowing of all here is undoubtedly “The Stars Know All,” and eviscerated blues that pitches notes and chords into the black against forlorn vocals, breaking only for some hard strums towards the close of the piece. Out of the whole of Japan’s modern wave of psychedelic acts, none choose to explore the exquisite possibilities of the endless bummer with as much intensity as Suishou no Fune. Even still, while their material pursues an almost unmatched heaviness in both tone and aesthetic execution, Prayer for Chibi shows the band developing into a formidably spare ensemble, one that’s capable of highlighting the sheer transformational power of grief and loss. More so than any of their other releases to date, Prayer for Chibi finds the band confidently leaving behind solid ground for all that the sky above has to offer, for better and for worse.
(Dusted Magazine U.S.A)

You may recall this Japanese electric guitar duo from their recent release on Important Records, The Shining Star, which captured their spectacularly raw astral blues sound in all its live fury. This new double disc release is the most sprawling, unedited representation of Suishou No Fune's sound yet, with twenty-minute slices of audio presenting different angles on the Piako and Kageo's psychotropic scrawl. On the one hand, 'Cherry' on the second disc starts out like a Loren Connors-influenced ditty, with echoing threads of blues reverb cascading over contemplative arpeggios. 'Resurrection Night', on the other hand, offers a dense swirl of distortion, a quarter-hour crescendo shifting into the Jandek-style harmony black hole 'In The Clouds'. An obvious comparison to make here would be with Keiji Haino, but the fact that this is a male-female two-hander means that there's always a lack of fixture to the music, with two very distinct voices taking turns at the helm, oscillating between a noise-fuelled primordial howl and stargazing blues bends without ever feeling at odds with itself. Great stuff.
(Boomkat U.K)

Massive new double CD set from this powerhouse Japanese underground duo whose fully obliterated guitar psych moves have illuminated the post-PSF scene. There’s a heavy Nijiumu/early Fushitsusha feel to much of the dynamic here, with solo choral vocals accompanied by nothing but the clank of chains and thrumming single notes. With more than two hours of studio recordings collected here, the group dig deep into the kind of black static sound most associated with the whole Tokyo Flashback aesthetic, with twin guitars working languid flames high into the air.
(Volcanic Tongue U.K)

Amazing, reverb-drenched psych oddness from this trmendous Japanese band. This whopping double-disc set takes a long time to unfold, each pieace meandering ever so slowly into the next, but it's engrossing from start to finish, and the tuneful wailing throughout is just so damn great. This is like Crazy Horse and Fushitsusha jamming in a giant garage. Incredible.
(alt.vinyl U.K)

"The crystal ship is being filled / A thousand girls, a thousand thrills / A million ways to spend your time / When we get back I'll drop a line".
Appunto, "Suishou No Fune" significa "nave di cristallo". E quella nave ha viaggiato a lungo, ha solcato infiniti oceani e attraversato mille tempeste, da quando salpò - da Venice - un giorno del 1967. Ha fatto scalo in Giappone, qualche anno fa, e lì son saliti in due, un uomo e una donna; due figli illegittimi di Keiji Haino, probabilmente, due fra i tanti che il Maestro avanguardista ha sparso qua e là, fra Tokyo e dintorni. E sono tuttora in viaggio; quando torneranno, non è dato saperlo. Ma di loro abbiamo buone notizie; sono vivi, e ogni tanto ci spediscono le loro impressioni; la cronaca di ciò che vedono, a bordo di quella nave.
"Vedere", si; ma in mezzo a tanta foschia non è cosa facile. Servirebbe il proverbiale terzo occhio, e non è detto che loro ne siano sprovvisti, anzi. Colori e sensazioni sono quanto si riesce a percepire. E il blu è il colore più ricorrente, nel ritratto dei paesaggi descritti; il colore della tristezza.
Il colore dei temi tradotti in musica da "Prayer For Chibi": angoscia, desolazione, morte. Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che mettete sul piatto i due dischi di questa quintessenziale opera datata 2008 (Holy Mountain l'etichetta): qui non c'è spazio per la speranza, o almeno ce n'è davvero poco; è un pianto ininterrotto quello che si ascolta. Raramente è capitato di ascoltare qualcosa di più straziante, qualcosa che sapesse ferire il cuore a questo punto: forse i lamenti della seconda parte di "Machine Gun", si, si avvicinano a questo (ovvero: la disperazione senza uscita quando gli spari sono finiti, e tutto ciò che resta sono scenari vuoti e inanimati: nessuno al pari di Hendrix ha saputo tradurre in musica la morte). Ma qui non è il Vietnam la fonte d'ispirazione; e neanche la morte di un essere umano, a dirla tutta.
...Chibi era il gatto di Pirako Kurenai (la metà femminile del duo, per intenderci); ed era venuto a mancare, un anno prima, a seguito di una brutta malattia, lasciando nella coppia un vuoto incolmabile. L'album è un monumentale tributo a lui, tra feedback, dissonanze e 8 maestose, lunghissime litanie chitarristiche. Una sola lunga preghiera, per l'appunto. Musica più notturna e affascinante che mai: due chitarre sinistre, gelide, a dialogare in arabeschi di spettrale magnificenza. Echi, riverberi, lamenti sommessi. Tutto scorre, fluido e naturale, pur se totalmente improvvisato, tutto è un perenne movimento: i cambi di tonalità sono liberi e casuali, direi quasi istintivi, così come istintivo è l'affiatamento fra uomo e donna, che fa sembrare due chitarre una cosa sola, una sostanza unica. Arrivano si, fra un brano e l'altro, momenti di durezza feroce, ma le circa due ore di musica scorrono - in prevalenza - in una quiete siderale, magari angosciosa all'inizio ma immancabilmente catartica, col passare dei minuti. E' la voce delle stelle, delle stelle che "sanno tutto", come recita il titolo di un pezzo del secondo disco; è a questa misteriosa sapienza universale, e non a un Dio rivelato, che l'anima del dipartito è affidata, prima di perdersi nell'oblio della materia.
"Before you slip into unconsciousness / I'd like to have another kiss / Another flashing chance at bliss".

Another ghost trail out of the Japanese psychedelic scene; Suishou No Fune's ambitious apparitions lap at the edges of space and time, leaving listeners delightfully stranded in the stratosphere. Prayer for Chibi is ambitious to say the least, spanning two discs with most tracks coming in around the 15 minute mark. This release pushes the psych-spiritual connection to new heights with chant-like vocals resting on a bed of echo-dipped guitar while tone ringlets ebb and flow through drones like serene waters crashing into sudden walls of restrained fuzz. The mood swings from mantra-like incantation to frantic visions and back to cooed lullabies as if it was the most natural cycle. Leave it to Holy Mountain to excavate the best of the Post-PSF scene and hurtle them onto American shores.

There's been a batch of cool releases recently from this underground Tokyo flashbackin' "bleak-folk" duo, including live albums on both the aRCHIVE and Important labels. How best to follow those up? How 'bout with a two-disc, two-hour studio set on Holy Mountain, all the more room for the Suishou two (Pirako and Kageo, both on guitar and vocals) to sprawl out and let their heavy lidded (if not quite heavy) psychedelia bleed so bleakly and beautifully, including a few tracks previewed in live versions, like "Cherry" and "Til We Meet Again". Even if you haven't heard those, if you've heard any Suishou No Fune chances are you know what you're in for... the usual Suishou blend of fragile vocals wailing ever so gently over meanderingly melodic string strum and amp hum, a downer droney trance-out that's super languid and echoey, relaxed and Rallizesized. The extended, lethargic and lovely lo-fi shimmer that Suishou No Fune conjures is embellished by some percussive rattling ritual at the opening of "Prayer", and enhanced elsewhere by occasional amped-up moments of distortodelic heaviness ("Resurrection Night" being a solid sixteen-minute example), though it's generally far to the softer side of countryfolk Boris and Acid Mothers Temple (for instance). We can guess you'll be filing this with your Shizuka, LSD-march, and Nagisa Ni Te cds... that is, filing it only after playing it over and over quite a bit, lost in a hypnotic reverie each time. Prayer For Chibi was recorded with the help of Steven Wray Lobdell (David Redford Triad, Faust) and the cd booklet features Japanese-to-English translations of all the lyrics by the always helpful in that regard Alan Cummings, lyrics full of flowers, dreams, rain, stars, fireflies, and la la las...
( Aquarius Records USA )

Suishou No Fune (soo-ee-sho no foo-nay) formed as a duo of female guitarist/ vocalist Pirako Kurenai and male guitarist/ vocalist Kageo in Tokyo in 1999. They have gone through a number of bassists and drummers since then, but with “Prayer for Chibi” they are back to the original duo. According to their website: “Chibi was a love cat of Pirako and Kageo. He died for a disease on February 13, 2007. This album is a memorial album to him.” (You gotta love those Japanese-English translations.) Japanese poetry set to improvised psychedelic dream music is the name of the game here, which is probably of no surprise, but on this two disc set they take their time and stretch out, way out. Eight tracks averaging 15-minutes each. All tracks have their own character, but sometimes the differences are very subtle. Most tracks start very slowly and quietly; in come the plaintive wailing vocals; more slowness; then a building wall of feedback as a crescendo toward the end.
1.“Prayer”(23:19) Bells; space; at 14-mins. strumming w/ an echoey lead.
2.“The Rain Falls”(7:07) Much plaintive vocal wailing.
3.“Till We Meet Again”(16:30) Slow build to heavy feedback; at11-mins. quietness.
4.“Becoming a Flower”(14:28) Pop-like strumming; feedback from 8-12-mins.
1.“Resurrection Night”(16:05) 16-mins. of solid feedback.
2.”In the Clouds”(14:53) Loose, bluesy improvisation.
3.”The Stars Know All”(12:00) Out there; we’re talking other galaxies.
4.“Cherry”(19:09) The simplest, most beautiful track.
That Chibi must have been one helluva cat.
( by Jawbone: KFJC )

The Suishou No Fune "Prayer For Chibi" CD was released on February 2008.
You can get Cd from the following shops or the distributor.

Holy Mountain (U.S.A)