Wha Ha Ha s/t
Wha Ha Ha s/t LP (Recommended, 1983)
In my first wanderings on the internet some years ago I stumbled onto the Recommended Records website. I was looking for the ten volume Plastic People of the Universe vinyl set. I had just had a very good thrift score that I turned over on ebay for some mad mad money (ahhh the dot.com boom!) and I felt a need to spend some of it. I was a little too late for the PPU set, so I spent some time looking though the vinyl Recommended did have. I had no idea what I was looking at and just went on descriptions. Lucky for me that Chris Cutler guy has good taste and writes helpful descriptions. I found some real gems. The prices were good and the dollar was actually holding its own against the pound. One of the records I got was this Wha Ha Ha LP.
Out of the small stack that I had bought, Wha Ha Ha was the real treat. Compiled from three different LPs, this collection is nothing less than astounding. Recorded in the early 80s, Wha Ha Ha incorporates many different styles of music - post punk, dub, jazz, Japanese folk music, ambient, nature sounds - and fuses them so well that the result is something all to itself. Listen to Akatere (which originally appeared on the album Getahaitekonakucah) and I think you will agree that this is remarkable music.
Wha Ha Ha was formed in 1980 by free jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata. They recorded a handful of LPs. Sakata also had his own trio going and played with many of the free jazz/postpunk/no wave crowd - James Blood Ulmer, Material, Lounge Lizards. He also played with Last Exit and recorded with the New York avant jazz crowd. He still plays today with jazz and avant musicians as well as people like DJ Krush.
Great blog! - Interesting / entertaining writing as well as interesting / entertaining music! - Thanks!