*Limited edition of 550 copies.* Following the long-awaited Paradise Of Delusion LP from 2021, An’archives announces Lunatic Pearl, a 10” EP by Japanese psych-pop legends Shizuka. As with the material on Paradise, 狂気の真珠 [Lunatic Pearl] draws from the deep well of music the quartet recorded in 2001, this time from two studio sessions. Here, though, the group’s classic line-up of Shizuka, Maki Miura, Jun Kosugi and Seven is augmented –on the a-side, they’re joined by Yasushi Nagata on guitar; flip the record, and Kazuhide Yamaji chimes in on acoustic guitar and bass.
Both Nagata and Yamaji were members of long-running Tokyo psych-out gang Dip (also known as dip the flag); Yamaji eventually joined Shizuka for a time, appearing with them on the 2010 DVD, Owari No Nai Yume, released by PSF. Part of Lunatic Pearl finds Shizuka in Paisley Underground mode, the spaced-out acoustic mantras of “Shiroi Inochi” and the instrumental “The Street The Fairy Goes” surprisingly reminiscent of the smeared, slow-motion psychedelics of Opal’s early EPs. The latter, a weightless blur, hovers in theair on dreamy drifts of DX-7, drifting melodies landing on the track like an astral traveller, lost and delirious.
“Lunatic Pearl” itself is a monster, one of Shizuka’smost rock-reverent moments, its bold riff soaring over a rhythm section that thuds menacingly, as though they’re the kings of the rumbling spires. “Signs”, another track from the Studio EUN session, features some gloriously unhinged playing from Miura, as though he’s tearing the song’s seams apart, as the group push Shizuka’s simple, perfect song into the stratosphere. Brief yet perfectly formed, Lunatic Pearl is another gorgeous entry in the Shizuka discography.