Krefeld’s Japanische Kampfhörspiele was formed in 1998 as a grindcore act. The two members were Kather and Nicodem. Several demos, Sektion JaKa, Gott Ist Satt, Oslo and Transportbox Für Menschen, followed before the band issued several sampler CDs. These led to the Die Grossstadt Stinkt, Ist Laut Und Septisch full-length and a contract with Bastardized.
According to Bastardized recordings in early 2007, the band’s next album would be Rauchen Und Yoga (Smoking And Yoga). The band was in the process of recording 15-20 brand new “pop/grind” tracks. The album featured Martin Freund as a second singer. A Japanische Kampfhörspiele/Are You God? Split album appeared through Baskat in 2008. The year also brought a DVD and news of a split with Eisenvater. Scotland’s Man Must Die added a second guitar player to its ranks in 2009. Rene Hauffe from Japanische Kampfhörspiele joined in the summer. Unundeux was the band’s own label. Heidelberg Deathfest or HDDF 2017 was taking place in that city on March 11th. Bands playing included God Dethroned (HOL), Haemorrhage (ESP), Deranged (SWE), JIG-AI (CZ), Ultimo Mondo Cannibale (ITA), Mucupurulent (CD-Release Show) and Japanische Kampfhörspiele.
JAPANISCHE KAMPFHÖRSPIELE - FERTIGMENSCH - BASTARDIZED
To be up front, the band's biography, name, photograph and cover artwork gave me the initial impression that this is some kind of a boring and rudimentary project. The dismissal pen of repudiation was all but out when the songs started to roll out of the speakers. Yes, the initial reaction was a classic case of judging a book by its cover, but would you want to put up with another bunch of talentless hacks for three hours when there is so much better to do in a given day?
The irony is that the Germans believe there is nothing better to do in this world anyway. That is, the world sucks, people suck, we are all idiots and so forth and we all know, somewhere deep in our honesty chest, they have it right.
The German quintet is all about straightforward grindcore that punishes the listener to no end, but remains involved enough to be believable. Not that the band ever slows down for any length of time, but the guitars, drums, dual-vocals, etc. all infer that the band has spent time crafting good grindcore. Equally impressive is the lyrics. Song titles like Alle Wollen Gut Aussehen [Und Tun Es Night] (everyone wants to look good and does not do it), Fan Von Gar Nichts (fan of absolutely nothing) and Scheisse Der Lehrer (shit the teacher) deal with real topics in the most frank manner possible. Some might term this band nihilistic and others might deem them existential 'heavy'weights, and be correct, yet the bottom-line is that this is a whopper of a grindcore album that would have ripped even without the relevant lyrics. Speaking of which, love the Kreator-ish solo on the song Verbrennt Euer Geld. - Ali "The Metallian"
JAPANISCHE KAMPFHÖRSPIELE - HARDCORE AUS DER ERSTEN WELT - BASTARDIZED
This is hardcore from the first world, an apt title if there ever was one for this concoction of noisy fast forward music. The Germans follow up their recent EP with a thirty-minute long blitz of cacophony replete with low vocals, high screams, light snare drums and both fast and heavy riffs. It is of appeal to both grind and metal fans (spot the Cannibal Corpse riff), although the clever lyricism and promise of the EP is somehow missing. That aside, and if a general lack of lead guitars and melody is not a show-stopper, this German band will manage to rip it up regardless of whether your audio is from Japan or elsewhere. - Ali "The Metallian"
JAPANISCHE KAMPFHÖRSPIELE - FRÜHER WAR AUCH NICHT ALLES GUT - BASTARDIZED
The recordings’ lo-fi quality and the DIY badge on the jacket were raising a question or two before finding out that the disc - entitled 'things were not all good earlier either' - is a compilation of the German grinders’ demos from 1998 to 2002. Setting aside the questionable practice of releasing old demos on a CD by bands and labels eager to milk money from the underground the musical and recording quality are simply not there based on the material.
The thirty plus tracks assembled on the disc are grindcore, yes, but simplistic and throwaway. At times, it is as if two extreme vocal styles were recorded atop of a rudimentary fast drum beat and transferred to tape - quite literally some of this material was originally replicated on cassette. On certain songs the guitars are mere static buried under the growls and the drums thus giving the impression of non-existent song writing and a haphazard arrangement schedule. It was a sad feeling attending a Monstrosity concert several years ago where the only crowd reaction came at the end of the set when the band ripped into a Slayer cover version. Sure enough, Japanische Kampfhörspiele does just that and manages to mock its own music in comparison. - Ali “The Metallian”
JAPANISCHE KKAMPFHÖRSPIELE - RAUCHEN UND YOGA - BASTARDIZED
The band calls its album 'Smoking And Yoga,' but thankfully there is no such contradiction on the album itself. Rauchen Und Yoga is an extreme slab of grindcore from start to finish with enough actual maladaptive riffing to satisfy fans of extreme metal. The German titles belie a sharp sense of humour, but the out-and-out grinding music and rattling drums that accompany the dual vocals are not kidding. The band slows down on Hungerhilfe, and occasionally one detects offbeat parts like (what sounds like) the conga, but tracks like Steig Aus or Laute Ohne Lust are goddamn successful. The obligatory hidden track is stereotypically here as well, but the Germans are hardly a cliché. The, er, interesting choice of the intro is another matter. - Ali “The Metallian”