吉原 stands for Yoshiwara, a Japanese red-light district that was well-known for its prostitution in the 17th century. Romain Hebert, the owner of Ikebukuro Dada, plays guitar and joins with Cedric and Mathieu (noted on Discogs) for some freestyle noise-rock, much of it sounding as though it was improvised during the time of recording. The title January 4th, 2013 simply notes the day the single 30-minute track was recorded.
The CD-R comes in a beautiful abstract-art case, a bloody collage of colors. The disc itself has droplets of blood on a white CD-R. And the noise on the actual disc is a chaotic blend of rhythmic drum, guitar, and bass, with much of it hitting the listener’s ear in a blur. The drums are competent, the bass is noticeable, and the guitar is often both noisy and melodic. There’s a fine line with 吉原’s sound between indistinct noises and music that works very well; often, a huge drone of sound threatens to overtake the track, but within that mass one can hear the plucking of strings and just a hint of rhythm.
It makes for a very interesting listen throughout, mostly because January 4th, 2013 tends to be all over the place, always focused on the free jazz-like sounds of improv and yet deliciously destructive. It doesn’t stop until the track ends, although there are moments where the rhythm drops out or pauses. The outcome is that you never know what you’re going to hear from 吉原, and it’s certainly worth the time it takes to invest in the disc.