When Siouxsie & The Banshees’ ‘Seven Year Itch Tour’ ended in Japan, August 18, 2002, it marked the end of an era. 24hrs later, an impromptu session in a Tokyo recording studio heralded the beginning of something new........
“No more maybe, no more could be, say yes!..” Siouxsie
Siouxsie & Budgie return as The Creatures with their emphatically titled new album ‘Hái!’ Translated, the title of this Self-produced, Anglo-Japanese fusion means ‘Yes!’ and is released on their own Sioux Records label on October 20, 2003.
As mysterious as the serene yet sensual beauty of the cover image by Japanese artist Kimiko Yoshida, ‘Hái!’ is an alchemy of distilled atmospherics and sublime minimalism. Yet as Siouxsie’s vocals soar over Budgie’s daredevil drums & marimbas, syncromeshed to the pulsing Taiko rhythms of ex-Kodo drummer Leonard Eto, ‘Hái!’ soon splits several sonic skins to emit a roar that would rival that of Japan’s most famous movie monster, ‘Godzilla!’, whose paean from Siouxsie will be released as a single on October 6, 2003.
“The Creatures are primal: it’s our guts, our deepest instincts coming through.” Budgie
‘Hái!’ began on the stormy Tokyo morning when fate brought Budgie and Taiko drum master Leonard Eto together for the first time. The ensuing spontaneous drumming frenzy was like lightning striking at the source of a rhythmical rainbow. The sizzling spectrum of beats unleashed in that one relentless recording session would become the backbone of the album.
“I was enthralled as I watched the coming together of these two kindred spirits. Words and melodies came to me immediately but mindful of breaking the spell, I had to store my inspiration until we got back home to France.” Siouxsie.
Continuing a pioneering journey that began with The Creatures’ recording their first album ‘Feast’ in Hawaii (1983), ‘Boomerang’ in Spain (1989) and ‘Anima Animus’ France, USA & UK (1999), ‘Hái!’ threads together a characteristically diverse mix of inspirational sources. Touched by the delicate snowfall imagery of Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Ikiru’ (1952), absorbing the vibrancy of Tokyo’s Roppongi district, and spiritualised by the ancient Shinto shrines and tranquil shores of Lake Ashi.
From the opening Semi Cicada drone of ‘Say Yes!’, we are exposed to an audioramic assault in ‘Around the World’ and ‘Seven Tears’. Charmed by the B-movie humour of ‘Godzilla!’ and seduced by the Shamanic chant of ‘Imagoro’. We traverse the sexual tightrope of ‘Tourniquet’, experience the strikingly beautiful fatalism of ‘Further Nearer’, languish in the poignant isolation of ‘City Island’, before finally being transported on the Hokusai Wave of assertive optimism that is ‘Tantara!’
If Budgie’s drums are the beating heart of The Creatures, then Siouxsie’s voice is the lifeblood, capable of the same ground-shaking dynamism it is also, as is evident on ‘Hái!’, an increasingly subtle and uniquely entrancing instrument.
“The spirit of Japan has touched our souls and a new chapter in the story of ‘The Creatures’ has begun.” Budgie.
Artist: The Creatures
Label: Sioux Records
Catalogue No: Sioux CD15
Release: October 20, 2003
via Artful Records in Europe & Instinct Records in the USA
1. Say Yes!
2. Around The World
3. Seven Tears
7. Further Nearer
8. City Island