It’s good to step out of a scene obsessed with itself, good to get away from feeling bored, good to get away from conceits like status, nostalgia, the dictates of history, and the rules of composure. It’s good because once you’re there, you can’t go back.
Turn on your CD player or boot your computer. Put the DJ For Hire S/T in the tray. Load up the playlist in your digital playback platform of choice. Back away. You can’t.
Big hooks and guitar virtuosity layered over waves of noise and distortion- oases of directed chaos between stretches of sparse pop- have obscured the way back to the affect of disaffected malaise. Tiny notes in furious succession beating needlepricks of color on your tympani are heralds for the hum washing up behind.
The excitement that I felt, signing up for a rotation as a DJ at my college radio station, as I was pulled off the axis of corporate radio and major label distribution, stemmed from my discovery of a universe of finished, real, fantastic music that was living, breathing, and throwing parties without so much as a “how’s your father” to any judge but enjoyment, wherever it happened to be executed. Cities as nearby to me then as Champaign, Illinois and as distant from where I was, but just as cut off from much else (excepting the Vast Expanse) as the towns I was living in (Omaha?), were the physical site of cultural frontiers, epicenters of changes that scared the limits of the mind into retreat.
From the first notes of DJ for Hire’s opening track, Pensive Purple Porpoises, there’s that same taste of fresh discontinuity with everything you’ve unwittingly become comfortable with. The break is there in the Japanese influence of many notes plucked from guitar strings in succession, the break is there in the narrative themes that backbone the songs. My Grandmother Hitchhiked in the Sidecar of a Nazi BMW R-75 Military Motorcycle points to the wonder that could at anytime spring from prosaic roots. Track Bum is an energetic standout showcase of guitar virtuosity and a boisterous anti-apology for prolonged insouciance. Passion without conceit, the music of Fukuoka, Japan’s DJ for Hire carries that weird change of kilter that brightens you awake with the youth hidden in what you know. Fukuoka, Japan, home to DJ For Hire, is now hard-coded into the authoritative astral version of google maps under the search strings “where it’s happening,” “Where it’s at,” and “that ain’t no bullshit.”