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by Dan Grunebaum

Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden

What happens when some of the more mischievous characters in the Japanese experimental underground get together to form a superband? The 11-piece juggernaut Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden would seem to be the answer.

Formed by Naruyoshi Kikuchi out of the remains of his longstanding free jazz collective Tipographica, the group is fronted by guitarist Yoshihide Otomo, originally known for his guitar work with the New Jazz Quintet. DCPRG also includes fellow New Jazz Quintet members Kenta Tsugami and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki.

Taking as their jumping off point the intersection between free jazz and improvisational electronica, DCPRG made something of a minor splash with the release of their January debut, Report from Iron Mountain (P-Vine).

Named after a confidential US government war report as well as a live house where the band has appeared, Iron Mountain immediately established DCPRG, along with the Boredoms and Rovo, as leaders of the Japanese post-rock movement.

Meanwhile, this Sunday's event at Liquid Room will see DCPRG in the company of some of the producers it worked with on its most recent project, General Presentation Products Chain Drasticism, also for P-Vine. The double CD includes one disc of the band performing live, and another of a range of DJ/producers remixing DCPRG tracks.

The live session shows the band chugging along in a groove that recalls the free-form electric jams of late '60s, Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis, while the remix disc reflects the cut 'n' paste, desktop computer deconstruction techniques of producers like Tatsuya Oe a.k.a. Captain Funk, who will also be on hand at Liquid Room.

As the strong turnout for last summer's two-day improvisational music festival the True People's Celebration indicated, there is a growing audience in Japan for this music. The scene taps into the unfortunately termed “jam band” movement and Japan's vibrant electronica/dance culture, while maintaining its roots in free jazz and experimental music.

With younger fans in mind, DCPRG have been playing all-night dance events, such as this Sunday's party at Liquid Room, which will offer a good opportunity to hear this take-no-prisoners musical steamroller over a sound system worthy of their scope and scale.

Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden play “President, Secretary-General & Bass Lines” at Liquid Room on December 29. See listings for details.

credit: Liquid Room

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