Monday 16 February 2015

Masabumi Kikuchi in the OST for Hairpin Circus, 1972 -- wow!

killer, killer, killer....    just killer......

It was an absolute shock-- once again-- when my friend sent me this record, a fusion soundtrack from a 1972 Japanese movie.  The artist was highly prolific actually in this period, as you can see from his discography.  Subsequently I tried to listen to most of it but this remains his best work, along with the albums made with the M. Kikuchi Sextett, Re-Confirmation and Collaboration.

What about the movie?  A google review:

Shimao is a former race car champion who retired after winning the GP of Macao, during which the only other Japanese driver taking part perished in a brutal crash. Shimao now leads a calm domestic life with a pretty wife and a newborn baby and makes a living as a driving instructor, until he encounters a group of young joyriders - the kind of amoral, hedonistic youth that have populated popular Japanese cinema since the Sun Tribe days - led by a feisty girl in a Toyota 2000GT, who race each other across the expressways and docklands of Tokyo. Bored by his bourgeois life and his hopeless students, Shimao can't help but envy these reckless young rascals and starts to miss the speed and thrill of racing. The girl taunts him every chance she gets and finally convinces him to strap himself into the passenger seat and relive the past. This he does indeed, when an innocent driver is pushed off the road in a hairpin and crashes into a concrete wall. When Shimao reads in the paper the following day that the innocent driver died in the crash, he decides to take action and climbs behind the wheel again to beat the speed tribe at their own game. Hairpin Circus is sparse on plot and dialogue, but heavy on car action. Lengthy car races and chases make up the bulk of the film's 84-minute running time, while the Kikuchi jazz score vies for aural dominance with an unrelenting chorus of revving engines. The result is quite hypnotic, an almost abstract, purely kinetic form of action cinema with a finale that verges on oneiric as Shimao and the girl, chasing each other through the nighttime city streets, seem to literally get high on speed.
Ripe for rediscovery, Hairpin Circus is quite a ride indeed.

Unfortunately, imdb doesn't add much useful info.


We hear echoes of Soft Machine (in the 4/5 era) and all the best of the best fusion from the seventies.  Dig it bros.


  1. hairpin circus

  2. Thanks Julian...Excellent Post !

  3. Hum I like very much the track in demo ! I wait to hear the complete record for say if it' s a killer !
    Thank you very much !

  4. Great thx julian love these jj vibes