Formed in 1993 as a duo by
Yamazaki Maso and guitarist Toda Fusao from Angel'in Heavy Syrup,
Christine 23 Onna is described by the band themselves as a "space
mondo psychedelic group."
Angel'in Heavy Syrup were formed in Osaka in 1989 by Nakao Mine
and Itakura Mineko. After gaining Jojo Hiroshige as their producer/svengali,
the group released their debut CD on Alchemy in 1991. Fusao joined
the group at this point, bringing a new depth to their musical
expression. The all-female band have grown into a group of rare
and world-class sensitivity. With their roots in psychedelic
and progressive rock, the group have been lauded for their dreamy
sound and their delicate and pretty vocals, infused with a very
Japanese sense of lyricism. They have released four albums, and
have opened for the twin godheads of space psychedelic rock,
Hawkwind and Gong.
The sound of Christine 23 Onna is very different to that of Masonna,
Space Machine, or that of Angel'in Heavy Syrup. It is based around
a fusion of the psychedelic phrases of accomplished guitarist
and composer Fusao, and the spacey electronics of Yamazaki. The
pair are also responsible for two of the weirdest shops in Osaka's
trendy Shinsaibashi area: Fusao's Freak Scene which specializes
in vintage kitsch and psychedelic clothing, while in the same
building Yamazaki is manager of the Alchemy Music Store, a mecca
for fans of noise, psych, prog and all other bizarre musics.
While the music of Christine 23 Onna is experimental, at the
same time there is something about its pop fashion sense that
would make it the perfect colorful, acid soundtrack for trips
both good and bad at some hip, astro-modernist, interior-designed
go-go lounge - all shimmering crystals, glass beads, fluorescent
plastic and shining metallic finishes. Unusual for any project
involving Yamazaki, this one has groovy repeating beats and a
clear sense of compositional structure.
Live performances by the group have included witty cover versions
of such obscurities as Afterglow's "Suzy's Gone", the
C.A. Quintet's "Trip Thru Hell", Cromagnon's "New
Caledonia", and Tony Conrad with Faust's "Outside the
Dream Syndicate". From 2001, live performances have included
two additional members and have concentrated on full band versions
of their original compositions. However, for future recording
purposes the group still consists of just Yamazaki and Fusao.
(Text: Higashiseto Satoru/ English Translation: