In 1987 Nakahara Masaya founded the project Violent Onsen Geisha. It quickly became one of the most well-known and influential names in the Japanese noise music scene, distinctive among others for frequently displaying a bizarre, sarcastic, and mischievous sense of humor. The band’s name, which translates to “violent hot springs geisha,” is a reference to the traditional Japanese practice of hot spring bathing, as well as a nod to Nakahara’s confrontational and irreverent approach to music. As Violent Onsen Geisha, he creates experimental music that blends elements of noise, industrial, and avant-garde styles. He is known for his use of unconventional instruments and sounds, including feedback loops, field recordings, appropriated or “found” music, in addition to (or even instead of) straight-ahead noise. As well as his work as a musician, Nakahara is also a prolific visual artist and writer. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and he has published several books on the subjects of art and music. He is known for his irreverent and humorous approach to art, which often subverts traditional Japanese imagery and cultural norms. Despite his underground status, Nakahara has been a highly influential figure in the Japanese art and music scenes for over three decades. His work has inspired countless musicians and artists both in Japan and around the world.
“Wagamama Na Ofukuro” is a super rare 1993 cassette release from Nakahara’s label “My Fiance’s Lifework”. The title translates to “Selfish Mother” in English, and the tape is known for its confrontational and irreverent approach to music. It consists of handful of tracks that features a barrage of harsh noise, feedback, and distorted vocals. Despite its abrasive nature, there is a sense of humor and playfulness to the music, with artist incorporating samples of children’s songs and nursery rhymes into the mix. Nakahara’s use of unconventional instruments and sounds, as well as his willingness to push boundaries and challenge established norms, make this cassette a standout in the noise genre.
Violent Onsen Geisha’s “Wagamama Na Ofukuro” has been reissued on vinyl for the first time, as a high-quality remaster of the original recording, and comes in an inside-out sleeve featuring the original artwork by Nakahara Masaya with scattered collages and Amy insert printed on felt-textured paper. Limited to just 299 copies, the reissue is a prime example of Violent Onsen Geisha’s confrontational and irreverent approach to music, and the vinyl format allows for a deeper and more immersive listening experience. Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the world of noise or experimental music, this vinyl release is not to be missed.