Henry Kaiser's comments about this insane dada avant-pop orchestra are probably the best way to preface any discussion of their work:
"Mr. Senba seems to be one of the most successful studio drummers in Tokyo. I sure hope that he is very successful, as I'm sure that the music copyist bills alone of the Haniwa Allstars would bankrupt most small businesses. There are about one hundred people in this band. All on stage at once. 5 or six drummers. A big horn section. A huge section of traditional Japanese instrumentalists. A dozen vocalists. All dressed in pajamas and nurses uniforms. Many of the members are big pop and/or jazz stars in Japan. Senba is the writer-arranger-conductor-madman behind this band. I suppose that the only person that you might compare Senba to in America, in terms of scale of ambition, is Frank Zappa. (Although Senba's music has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Zappa or his musical interests.) Senba is spectacularly successful with his truly insane, giant, all style-encompassing musical vision. It's too bad you will never ever see this release in any American record shop. Too bad that we are so culture-bound over here."
What Henry's leaving out here is any mention of just how utterly brain warping all of this sounds. Senba and his All Stars are lunacy of herculean proportions and a screaming peak of the Japanese pop avant garde. I know of one collector of experimental music who's arguably amongst the world's biggest and who considers them to be his all time favorite band! Of these two, "Haniwa" sits just a smidge higher for me insofar as the studio processing (worthy of Wha Ha Ha) lacquered on top of this already sublime nuttiness pushes things to a nearly supernatural threshold of weirdness, but they're both capable of causing slackjawed amazement and drooling upon initial exposure...
Get "Haniwa" Here
Get "In Concert" Here
***NOTE: THERE ARE MIRRORED MEDIAFIRE LINKS IN THE COMMENT FIELD***