Many pioneering Japanoise artists sought inspiration in various forms of erotica, fetish, manga, kinbaku (緊縛) – the Japanese art of bondage, and anything else sex/mutilation/perversion related at various stages of their career, but J.Y took his obsession with senzuri (male masturbation in Japanese, which literally translates to "one thousand rubs") to the next level, where it had penetrated every aspect of his artistic and personal life. Claiming to be asexual, non-discriminative towards men or women, Juntaro dedicated most of his creative work to exploring and debating his sexuality and gender identity, homoerotica and homosexuality in general, obscene and bizarre pornography, gay lifestyle and activist organizations like ACT UP, and all of the above in the unique interpretation of contemporary Japanese culture and Juntaro's personal, radical vision.
The band's name is a Japanese onomatopoeia for vomiting and defecating diarrhea simultaneously: GERO (vomiting), GERI (diarrhea) and a non-lexical vocable GEGEGE (according to other sources, it represents sounds of vomiting). For an unprepared listener, this name could be very descriptive of some Gero records. In a 1995 interview, Juntaro transcribed the meaning of this word as the 'geekexhibitionistramrodonanismgayenobrammeritchgigenmagro-inejaculationgenderfuckerotica,' and in one of the latest interviews, he explained that he chose the Gerogeri… name for a feeling of freedom. He also embraced a pronunciation 'Gero-geri-gay-gay-gay' suggested by the interviewer, while reassuring that his band has nothing to do with 'gay' in Japanese.
The Gerogerigegege officially started in 1985, with a release of a self-titled Gerogerigegege C-30 cassette recorded with Takeshi Ohmura on Masami Akita's mailorder label. At least 300 copies were distributed by Juntaro in person to various record stores, and an undisclosed amount was sold through ZSF Produkt. Juntaro already began playing with Dynamite Gero (Toshinori Fukuda) on drums and Dee Dee Gero (Hironao Komaki) on guitar and had been mastering his noise-making skills while working on the material for his first album. On the other hand, Juntaro just met his future artistic partner, a much older exhibitionist, masturbator and sex performer Gero 30 (Tetsuya Endoh) at an S&M club in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Juntaro immediately found a spot for Gero 30 in his grand vision, as an ideal live mascot for his senzuri obsessions.
Juntaro and Gero 30 soon began performing together, with a series of perverted and disturbing live acts barely hanging on a fine edge between contemporary art happening and public indecency. These early Gerogerigegege concerts are among the most shocking live acts in the history of Japanese extreme music, only comparable to infamous Hanatarash demolition acts (when Yamatsuka Eye drove bulldozer through the wall of a venue, and while terrified audience ran amok lined up some Molotov cocktails to throw inside the wrecked building). Juntaro's live sessions with Gero 30 were built on the foundation of GG Allin's raw punk aesthetics, and featured little to no background music, primarily consisting of Juntaro and Tetsuya eating each others feces, rolling around in pee and shit on stage, while a bunch of middle-aged guys in the audience jerked off, collaboratively producing ambient sounds of bodily fluids, panting voices and excited snorts of masturbating listeners. This gig took place dozens of times, happening regularly about twice a month at different sex and fetish clubs.
In 1985, the Gerogerigegege also produced their first 'conceptual' (i.e., non-musical) album, Shaking Metal Box. It was a large metal enclosed box, with 10-page manual and instructions for listeners to hold their boxes with 100 empty cassettes inside and shake it rhythmically to produce their own acoustic noise. It was a huge and heavy item, and no more than three copies were sold via mailorder. (This boxset was reissued in 2017 as a smaller Shaking Box Music: You Are The Noise Maker edition, and includes no cassettes, 15 Gero badges, CDr with instructions, and a silk printed t-shirt with Juntaro Yamanouchi painting.).
The first proper concert show outside of S&M club happened at the auditorium of WASEDA University in October 1986. Gerogerigegege were presented by Juntaro, Gero 30, two members of Grim (ex-White Hospital), and Mr. Elle from C.P. In the later shows, Gero 30 would masturbate and exclaim profanities and aroused screams in the microphone, with most of the audience laughing and shouting, while Juntaro (and occasionally other artists) produced random instrumental and vocal noises in the background.
The band's debut Senzuri Champion LP was released on a newly established Vis A Vis Audio Arts label in 1987. The album contained lengthier electroacoustic noise pieces, some heavily distorted screaming vocals, and occasional lo-fidelity recordings of masturbating males. All 1000 copies with booklet were sold in Japan.
In 1988, the notoriously famous Release Memorial Performance took place. Juntaro widely advertised a presentation event for his new flexidisc Ai-Jin, which attracted a huge audience and press to Enoshima Beach. The Gerogerigegege just set the whole 2000 copies on a huge campfire, with Gero 30 masturbating naked in front of it. This concluded the performance. Ai-Jin contained a cover on Teresa Teng song (a Taiwanese pop-singer hugely popular in Japan), and burned copies (some were also cut in half) were sold as an 'art edition,' with just a few unburned and playable discs available to the audience.
The Gerogerigegege also released their first 7" single Sexual Behavior In The Human Male on Transrecords in 1988, featuring some of the most traditional sounding and melodic songs, with Toshinori Fukuda on drums and Hironao Komaki playing guitar. In April 1989, Juntaro also produced a single-sided flexidisc 吐き気がするほどオマンチンコだぜ ! おまえは ! under Gerogerigegege's alternative alias, The Omanko, released on Satsugai Enka Vinyl label (the title "Hakike ga suruhodo omanchinko daze! Omaewa!" is a parodic reference to lyrics by a Japanese punk band The Stalin).
The second album, Showa LP, was released following the death of Emperor Hirohito in January '89. The record starts and finishes with a Japanese national anthem and contains basically just some random pornographic voices and sounds. The limited release came in four different editions: two 'Japanese emperor cover' versions with (or without) a booklet, a very special Showa (Ramones Edition) (with Ramones - Britzkrieg '75 (Demo Tracks) bootleg sleeve and fake tracklisting), which doesn't mention the Gerogerigegege anywhere on the cover, plus the most limited version with 'Ramones cover' and a playable Ai-Jin flexidisc as an insert.
After gaining enough recognition on the local scene, Juntaro began corresponding with a large network of international noise artists, labels and distributors, asking everyone to put his stuff on compilations and solo releases and promising to release people's music in Japan. According to Ron Lessard, founder of RRRecords label and record store, his first exposure to cult Japanoise bands like Violent Onsen Geisha and Masonna happened when J.Y mailed him some masters. Juntaro's attempts to expose Gerogerigegege to foreign audiences were fairly successful, and eventually led to numerous compilation appearances and limited edition 7" singles on Nux Organization, Beast 666 Tapes, Nihilistic Recordings, Old Europa Cafe, Ant-Zen, Banned Production, Subterranean Records and other prominent independent labels in Europe, UK and USA. Juntaro also managed to acquire a rather unique and large collection of noise and extreme music records and memorabilia, with many rare and valuable editions and literally an entire wall of noise cassettes. J.Y carefully documented all of Gero's studio sessions, rehearsals, home demos, and live performances, thus securing an ample supply of unreleased material for any foreign labels interested in releasing his music.
Juntaro's first releases overseas were two seven-inches on Stomach Ache Records in the United States, William Bennett Is My Dick (abstractionist collage of weird noises, spoken words, lo-fi romantic music in the background, and fringe vocal improvisations), and All My Best To You, With Love Juntaro with two mellow Cambodian pop songs, no extreme sounds or noise whatsoever. The second disc wasn't marked as a limited edition, and contained words Gero Of Finland (likely a reference to Tom of Finland), Cock Ring Of Fire, Announcing: the strongest pain reliever you can buy…. He also produced more releases on Vis A Vis Audio Arts, including a red heart-shaped Live At Tokyo Gay Center 7" acetate, limited to just 10 copies, and first releases by other artists, such as The Haters - Fuchait flexidisc, and a straight-forward Japanese pop-rock album Koji Kita & Scar Face (2) - Flower. Yamanouchi met Koji Kita through a Japanese rock musician Otsuki Kenji, his ex-classmate from Tokyo International University, and somehow talked this fairly traditional artist into producing and releasing his album. As far as returning favors on Juntaro's networking, Vis A Vis Audio Arts also produced several records by Achim Wollscheid (as S.B.O.T.H.I.), Ramleh, and Pierpaolo Zoppo's Mauthausen Orchestra.
In 1990, The Gerogerigegege had their first major hit, パンクの鬼 (Tokyo Anal Dynamite) CD, a complete 35-min live document recorded in Oct '87 somewhere in Shinjuku with Juntaro playing noise bass, Dynamite Gero on drums and Kuso (2) on vocals. Each of the 75 songs packed on T.A.D. opened with a barely audible announcement of the track's title, and 'one, two, three, four' shouted in broken English. Several covers performed that night include a 25-sec renditions of I'm Not In Love (originally by 10cc), (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, Boys Don't Cry by The Cure, and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker by Ramones. J.Y embraced this classic rock-n-roll shout from listening to numerous Ramones live albums and soon coined the term 1,2,3,4 noisecore to describe the Gerogerigegege's music. The album was a great success, becoming one of the instant classics of the noise genre in Japan, and all 3000 copies with Yoshikazu Ebisu's artwork were quickly sold out. Juntaro and Gero 30 also appeared with a 5-min interview on Tokyo T.V., and a year later 10 min information program was aired, coupled with numerous appearances in popular Japanese magazines. The Gerogerigegege started gaining a noticeable admiration and following.
Juntaro's musical influences, beyond obvious Ramones, included Whitehouse and Come, second tape of Seven Minutes Of Nausea (possibly Harry Dean Suicide), and many records and concert videos of GG Allin, particularly Dirty Love Songs 2xLP. In 1993, in the booklet with the first edition of Night EP Juntaro published his top-10 most favorite albums list, featuring Yoko Ono's Fly 2xLP, all records by Japanese pop-singer Saki Kubota, and works of contemporary Greek composer Jani Christou and Italian minimalist/dadaist maestro Walter Marchetti. In more recent interviews, he also mentioned Swedish electroacoustic music, like Leif Elggren and Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, and Finnish noise performer Pasi Markkula (as Bizarre Uproar and with Aunt Mary band).
In 1991, the Gerogerigegege released their second and third CD albums on Vis A Vis Audio Arts. Live Greatest Hits featured Gero 30 most prominently, and contained three complete live recordings from '87, '90 and '91 with Gero's masturbation voices and crowd reactions captured. On the same day, Vis A Vis Audio Arts released Senzuri Power Up, a compilation of unreleased tracks and outtakes from 1985/86.
More international releases soon followed. In 1992, Juntaro released 45RPM Performance CD on Dark Vinyl Records in Germany, with a unique solo recording of turntablist noise on two record players with scratched and prepared records. The Gerogerigegege also produced two seven-inches, More Shit E.P on Baby Huey in the USA which featured Juntaro, Takeshi Ohmura (guitar, bass), and Lip (2) on drums, recorded in Sep '87 live at Yaneura and in Oct '88 at the studio in Penta. The second single Senzuri Monkey Metal Action was released in the United Kingdom on Psycho Mania Records and featured Juntaro Yamanouchi with guitar and Tohru Maruyama on drums, recorded on cassette in Jan '86 at Takaido Fukushi Center studios in Tokyo.
The Gerogerigegege continued performing live often, giving up to three performances a month, and each time presenting a different S&M scenario. The music would vary from live punk band to house electronica, with Gero 56 solo drumming and much more, and he would utilize anything for his perverse act, from 100 raw eggs to a live smallmouth fish. Juntaro also kept releasing his old and new material abroad. In 1993, Gerogerigegege produced three seven inches on different labels in Europe, all with similar comics-style pornographic cover art. Mother Fellatio on German label A.I.P.R. was limited to 555 hand-numbered copies, and featured recent recordings from Apr '93, where Jeff Warmouth handled bass and electronics, as well as announced track titles, while Juntaro violently screamed and produced bursts of harsh noise as 'tracks' in response. Yellow Trash Bazooka on Italian label SOA Records featured similar session, recorded with Jeff on March '93 in Tokyo (no overdub, no effect, no speed). Each track title begins with a letter G on this recording. Finally, notorious Night on white multi-colored vinyl produced by Ant-Zen, first 100 copies of a special edition came with 20-page booklet and microfiche, followed by 400 more. Recorded live with no overdubs in Aug '93 at Beat Mint-Studio Tokyo, the single featured the usual "1 2 3 4!!" count followed by a lengthy recording of a man defecating (and possibly touching himself) in the bathroom.
Juntaro also began producing more conceptual releases the same year, which he described as 'anti-records.' Mother Fellatio on A.I.P.R. was presented, for instance, in a very limited This is Shaking Box Music Pt 2 (Special Edition of Mother Fellatio EP), which contained a 7-inch sharded in pieces and neatly packed in a cassette case! He also produced a notorious Art Is Over tape (an octopus tentacle glued to the inside of an empty cassette case), edition of 50 copies on Vis A Vis Audio Arts, as well as 0 (Zero) Song EP, limited to 19 numbered copies, clear blank flexidisc (no audio) complete with origami sheets and various inserts. On the label area and cover, writings were reproduced: "Not for sale. For gift to great friends. Silence is the best music. This E.P. is not nihilistic product. Play at 75 RPM or any speed. You can have silent time."
Another anti-record was produced by Juntaro's side project, Nihilist Surfin' Group. All 40 hand-numbered copies of Howling At The Sun / California Baby 7" were painted and had pictures glued on both sides. The label contained a warning: This record might damage your record player. Play at your own risk. A retrospective collection of tracks made in 1985, including first recordings made by Juntaro pre-Gerogeri, were released on Kitanomaru Hyakkei 7" EP by Monellaphone Cassettes label in Japan. Limited to 300 numbered copies, this record came in a fold-out sleeve with a 12-page booklet, containing Juntaro's Small story about the Gerogerigegege and other comments about the band and their discography.
The year of 1994 marked a shift towards more complicated musical forms and exploring different genres beyond various dimensions of pure noise. The Gerogerigegege produced several 'serious' works, showcasing Juntaro's ambitions as a composer. Endless Humiliation released by Japan Overseas is a quiet ambient album with solo piano recorded by Juntaro Yamanouchi at Tad Pole Studio in June '93 mixed together with Apr '90 field recordings from Shinjuku, featuring an improvised interview with a homeless drunk. Another experimental work Hotel Ultra, recorded in Oct-Nov '93, was released on Japanese label Kubitsuri Tapes, and featured two musique concrete/found sound collages, with Juntaro picking from a selection of records, as well a handling audio tapes and electronics to blend various uplifting and easy listening tunes with onkyo quiet noise, synth bleeps and squeals, random conversations in Japanese, occasionally overdubbing Takeshi Ohmura live jamming on sax.
To counterweight these subtler dynamics, the same year Gerogerigegege produced perhaps the loudest and harshest album to date, a speedy noisetrashcore Instruments Disorder (170 Songs CD), with all songs completed in over 38 minutes. Juntaro recorded it in one day with NP on guitar & bass and Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, also announcing tracks. In the same year, British label Work In Progress released Singles 1985-1993 collection, featuring rare tracks recorded from 1985 to '93 with 4 to 24 channels (unlike all earlier works produced by Juntaro with just 2-track).
Juntaro also released a 7" single Senzuri Fight Back, an edition of 1000 copies on the American label Turbine Industries in 1994, an early hand-held tape recording of a live Gero experience from Oct '86 at Studio Penta in Gotanda, Tokyo. According to Wm. Christman, founder of Turbine, he began exchanging letters with Juntaro around 1990. A year later, he traveled to Japan for the first time and ended up meeting J.Y and hanging out. As Anal Sadist, Christman played some chaotic and fun sessions with Juntaro as Gerogerigegege and a couple of his friends as Nihilist Surfin' Group in rent-by-the-hour studios in Tokyo. He also signed a deal for Turbine Industries to briefly act as an *exclusive* distributor of Gero's stuff in the United States.
With almost a decade of active career behind their belts, Gerogerigegege started off the year 1995 with retrospective material. A Japanese label SSE Communications reissued The Sexual Behavior In The Human Male, Gero's first seven-inch single from '88, remastered with rehearsals, demos, and other unreleased studio tracks from the era. (Symphony for a New Age Destruction with live metal work by Motohiko Satoh and Kaoru Koga also appeared on white label No Sound 7" released by US label Vinyl Communications in 1995). Some mono unedited goodies from Juntaro's home taping archive are found on spoken word/muzak Veel Plezier! (400 hand-numbered copies on translucent pink vinyl) – bits of the eighties' Shofukutei Tsuruko's radio DJ set, recorded on a mono cassette deck, and newly mastered for a Belgium label Meeuw Muzak. A few recent productions were released abroad: All You Need Is Audio Shock by a German grindcore/powerviolence label Regurgitated Semen Records had 63 songs recorded at Psycho Trash Center with no rehearsals, no overdub and no effects by Juntaro screaming (singing) and Katsutoshi Munechika on all bass trying to channel early Ramones (A-side) and to reprise the entire Tokyo Anal Dynamite sequence in one shot (on the B-side). Recorded on extra low levels, these sessions are very loud and thick, with Juntaro's voice barely discernible under heavy effects, at times sounding almost like a fighter jet taking off at ultrasonic speeds through a ring modulator. On the other hand, the German label A.I.P.R. that released Mother Fellatio EP two years ago produced a new seven-inch of Juntaro making noise with Mamarracho duo, brothers Fuyuhiko (drums) and Shobu Saitoh (vocals), recorded in Mar '95 on 2-ch cassette recorder at Shibuya, and featuring 59 songs in 10 minutes. Hand-numbered edition of 600 copies on blue vinyl comes with hand spray-painted cover.
In 1996, the Gerogerigegege produced several releases, mostly reworked old material from Juntaro's vast archives, including split records: Ramones / New Toy For Children 7" with Bastard Noise, editions on black, grey marble, and purple translucent vinyl in machine-numbered cardstock sleeve, featuring a crazy drone track, several recordings from '85 and Dec '91, as well as vocal pieces recorded on July '94 and Feb '92, with the other side recorded by Eric Wood, Josh Lewis and W.T. Nelson in Los Angeles in 1995; Seven Inches Of Meat 7" with Origami Erotika from Norway, released jointly by Jazzassin Records and KomKol Autoprod. Edition of 800 copies with a 14x21-inch foldout cover/poster (a special Japanese private press Gay Sex Can Be AIDS of 50 copies had 8-page art booklet); Eternal Energy (For Continuing Blundering Life) / Noise´s Not Dead, hand-numbered edition of 300 copies, with German noisecore group Pyosalpinx on the other side, released by Scrotum Records in 1997. Finally, the most significant 1996 release was Mort Douce Live CD by Hong Kong label Sound Factory, featuring a remastered collection of live sets with Juntaro on bass guitar, Toshinori Fukuda on drums, and Dee Dee Gero on guitar recorded in Dec '87 at Baus Theater, June '87 at Waseda University, May '88 at Toshima Public Hall, and Aug '87 at Good Man.
With a scandalous reputation and a vast discography of both fairly mass-produced albums (high-quality CD in jewel case with a thick booklet and OBI-stip) and ultra-limited 7" singles covering wide variety of genres, from harsh noise, speedy noise-punk and ambient to a reasonably straightforward rock, found sounds collages and experimental electronica, the Gerogerigegege began attracting many collectors, international fans and Japanoise admirers. With the majority of their records released in Japan and quickly sold out, a few imported Gero releases were highly sought after collectibles, with prices up to $500 and more. At the same time, there was a steady decline in current releases.
In 1998, a peculiar collection Recollections Of Primary Masturbation (338 Songs CD) was released in Germany by a newly established label Onkel Tuka Records. The album contained 338 songs by the Gerogerigegege, and despite the horrible sound quality they appeared to be remastered: the first song ever recorded by Juntaro from Kitanomaru Hyakkei 7" EP; two songs from Senzuri Champion LP; the remastered A-side of Senzuri Monkey Metal Action 7" EP; the B-side of More Shit 7" EP; 75 songs remastered from the Tokyo Anal Dynamite CD in one track, and 233 unreleased songs (which also include two announcers discussing Gerogeri's second album Showa on radio). Mostly nonsensical release that doesn't have much artistic value except to Gerogerigegege completists, perhaps just produced in the absence of a more substantial material to present.
In 1999, Juntaro Yamanouchi returned with two full-length albums, continuing the series of ambient/electroacoustic releases which began with Hotel Ultra and Endless Humiliation in '94. An hour-long minimal ambient/drone track None Friendly was released on CD-album (Digipak with OBI-strip) by a small Japanese label Mink Records, a very dynamic and refined recording, melodically and structurally rich soundscape, perhaps one of the most musically and aesthetically pleasing works created by the Gerogerigegege. According to J.Y, it took a very long time to complete this track, and it acquired a great meaning for him since it was born. Originally composed, executed and recorded by Juntaro in Oct '87 without any synthesizers, it was mastered with Tatsuya Yoshida at Magaibutsu Studio in May '99.
Another CD Hell Driver was presented by a well-known British experimental label Dirter Promotions. Originally produced in 1997, this album comprised five years of recordings (1992 to '96) and featured quieter experimental soundscapes and field recordings. According to the liner notes, this album was meant 'As final tribute' and had no overdubs, EQ or any effects. The first track, recorded in Sengawa, Rokakohen, and Kamakura in May '92 on one day, featured very crude cassette field recordings from various locations, such as the market, a large open public space, possibly a train station or a bus depot, with a faint, sad background melody caught off air; chaotic street traffic blended with the faint rumbling of fireworks in the distant. What Luc Ferrari could've produced if he recorded everything drunk with a cheap walkie tape recorder! Second track Hell Driver, a very low-end recording drowned in tape hiss, was done in the summer of '94 in Hamadayama, J.Y improvising on piano accompanied by another Juntaro's piano tape in the background. Moonlight & His Loser Knife is a long live piece, recorded at Club-Q, Simokitazawa, Tokyo in August '96. A fairly low-key lounge intro evolves into a beautiful solo performance on a guitar tuner which lasted over 35 mins, an incredibly hypnotic and abrasive, slowly evolving drone with some random background noises and junk being dropped and moved around the stage in the beginning. Following are shorter tracks, like Pray Silently ~ Pray For Late Mr. Hiroyuki Ohkura recorded live at Muse Hall, Osaka in Oct '95. A mono recording with sound appearing in the left channel only features a random conversation in Japanese in the beginning, followed by J.Y playing on the string 'Original Instrument' apparently made by Mr. H. Ohkura, quite abruptly plucking the strings without any evident rhythm or structure, to produce very avant-garde and fairly loud abstract improvisation. The final track Night is Morning (1993) recorded in Hamadayama features more solo piano by J.Y, this time sounding like the microphone (or the actual tape recorder) was physically placed inside the piano. A very somber and slowly evolving abstract piece, reminiscent of certain Erik Satie's musique d'ameublement arrangements.
A 'final tribute' note in the liner notes of Hell Driver album certainly marked a new transition for Gerogerigegege, with a bare minimum of any releases presented to the public in the following two years. A couple of odd releases worth mentioning are Early Dream Exit 7" released by two Czech noise/grindcore labels Napalmed and View Beyond Records in 2000, and featuring early unreleased Gero tapes from 1985/87, quieter drone pieces on guitar tuner and tape loops manipulations, somehow resembling certain Hell Driver sessions in their eerie and desperate feel. This record included the first Gerogerigegege demo that was released on Merzbow's ZSF Produkt, as well as home and live recordings, studio sessions, and alternative mixes for Senzuri Champion LP, all re-edited and newly mastered. Another bizarre 'mixtape' recording without any original Juntaro material appeared on Live in USA 7" split with Crowd Surfers Must Die (CSMD), limited to 500 copies and co-released by Maxi Noise Sensation and CSMD's No Fucking Labels in 2001. Just an old live recording of a Japanese pop singer Hiroshi Itsuki in Las Vegas from his first American visit, introduced by some cheeseball Las Vegas impresario, and featuring two lavish and glitzy seventies J-funk tunes.
The last official release to date was Saturdaynight Big Cock Salaryman CD, released by Full Volume Agency label established by brothers Saitoh, Juntaro's old partners in crime. Recorded at Hamadayama in April 2001, this session featured Juntaro Yamanouchi (all voice, breath and lip noises), Shobu Saitoh (all guitar noise), and Gero 30 (exhibitionist). Thirty-five songs in under 13 minutes, complete with a track title announcements and countdowns, this was a prime example of '1,2,3,4 noisecore Gero studio terror' edited from a tape for French Radio by J.Y and Shobu Saitoh. The liner notes featured thank you credits to Sergey (Forever!) – perhaps a reference to Sergei Kuryokhin, a Russian avant-garde pianist, composer, musician, actor and trickster who could've met Juntaro or saw Gero performance during his visits to Japan in the nineties. Kuryokhin praised the band in his 1996 interview by Dmitri Strizhov: 'I really love Japanese people. Everything's alright with their music, take just the Japanese 'noise terror' for instance, acts like Masonna or Gerogerigegege. Not only they scrape guitars with their tiny sticks like all hell break loose, but they also manage to jerk off at the same time!'
Since 2001, no new releases or any notable appearances by Gerogerigegege had occurred, and Juntaro Yamanouchi had seemingly disappeared from the public eye and had withdrawn from any communications both online and in the real world. As for Gero 30, who was born somewhere in the early thirties, he must've been retiring from an active masturbation career anyway. The gerogerigegege: 56k performance fansite, which was the main hub for all information related to Juntaro activities, hadn't been updated since June 2003, and numerous rumors proliferated on forums among Gero fans worldwide. Juntaro was reported deceased, institutionalized or simply unwilling to acknowledge his project anymore. Some reported (without any confirmation) that Juntaro got seriously depressed and ended up in the hospital with a nervous condition, following his brother's death in a car accident. One enthusiast, a foreign expat from Tokyo, claimed to trade a very expensive new bicycle for a supposedly working Juntaro's email address, … to no avail.
Eventually, most of the Gerogerigegege music had appeared in digitized format across P2P networks, Blogspot.com music blogs, and torrent trackers, as well as playable right off YouTube, providing more fans and appreciators outside Japan. This also encouraged more collectors in ambitious quest to acquire a 'complete' (as possible) Gero discography on original physical copies, spending (or making) thousands by selling and buying CDs and vinyl from their Gero 'never played' goodie packs.
In 2012, several new Gero bootlegs had appeared, such as a mysterious Masturbation Rarities mini CD-R limited to 75 copies, which featured unreleased live sessions with 'alternative' punk-oriented line-up from the earliest pre-Vis A Vis Audio Arts days, when J.Y was still using the name Shitake Record for his label. This release also marked the first time 'Ensam I Natt' was performed, a song by the cult Swedish gothic garagepunk/industrial band The Leather Nun which later appeared on Sexual Behavior In The Human Male EP. Another bootleg All You Need Is An Audio Shock By Japanese Ultra Shit Band LP was released in France in 2012. Limited to 750 copies, this record contained two collections of tracks, Senzuri Action and Noise Action, a few 'folk punk' songs and various blasts of 1,2,3,4 noisecore, lovingly compiled across different '85 to 2001 albums and singles.
The first 'confirmed sighting' after more than a decade of absence was through a Twitter post by Kaitai Gidayū (解体義太夫), who tweeted on August 27, 2013, that 'Juntaro called me about a new album and live concert and I want to help him. Are we going to do something amazing? Perhaps.' In November 2014, a few photos surfaced online of Juntaro hanging out with Hironari Iwata, Jun Konagaya, Tomo Kuwahara and Yukio Nagoshi from Vasilisk and several other artists, looking normal and assembled. He soon appeared onstage with Grim in Tokyo, and rumors appeared that Gerogerigegege live concerts may be scheduled in the foreseeable future.
Finally, the Gerogerigegege's first new album in 15 years 燃えない灰 = Moenai Hai was released on Grim's label Eskimo Records (2) in Japan in April 2016. It contained four long tracks, including three new songs composed and recorded in 2014/15 and featuring both found footage (Treasure/Trash Recordings that are explicitly labeled as 'Not Field Recording' in the liner notes) and studio recordings on piano, guitar tuner and electronics, producing slow, abstract soundscapes and haunting drones, and concluded with a longer outro performed on a tuning fork, marked as another Juntaro's treasure/trash recording. The album also include a noisy recording of a long, heavy noisecore/hypnagogic punk The Gerogerigegege with J.Y (treasure/trash recordings, guitar, bass, piano, guitar tuner) and Dr. Euro on drums: a remake of 'We Got Normal' song from The Gero-P cassette, initially recorded by J.Y with Fumiyoshi Suzuki and released by ZSF Produkt in 1986.
Juntaro and Eskimo Records presented several editions of Moenai Hai: a regular CD edition with 4 album tracks in jewel case with OBI-stip was limited to 500 copies, and accompanied with two bonus releases: Lust Vessel Distribution pre-order edition had a bonus tape of unreleased '85 material, manufactured by Lust Vessel and featuring Untitled 4-min piece of harsh instrumental noise (recorded backward on the B-side), and a bonus Voracious CD-R was a part of Disk Union Special Promotion Set, including one 9-min deafening harsh 'wall of noise' track. The album was re-released on cassette in the United Kingdom by Irrational Arts, Moenai Hai limited to 120 copies. An Italian thrash / hardcore label F.O.A.D. Records produced two vinyl editions: dark swirl blue limited to 250 copies, plus 150 copies of a die hard edition on clearwater vinyl with black and blue drops. Finally, a very limited handmade edition of five signed, stamped and numbered copies were produced by Vis A Vis Audio Arts with entirely different artwork, 燃えない灰 = Moenai Hai with a cut-up poster, scratched Gerogerigegege's CDs and various 7" sleeves/covers as inserts.
A new The Gerogerigegege 12" EP was released by a German D.I.Y. noise label Scrotum Records, with a sumo fighter's colorful photo on the cover designed by bo)))b, and featuring standard edition of 400 copies without OBI, Club Edition of around 70 copies with OBI-strip, un-numbered and without insert, as well as 50 copies of Mailorder Edition with OBI-strip, stamped and numbered with an insert. The record contained no original sounds produced by Juntaro and instead featured a couple Hiroshi Itsuki pop-funk songs, taken from 歌はわが翼 = Songs Are My Wings Hiroshi In Las Vegas '77, the same record that was sampled on 'Live In USA' split with Crowd Surfers Must Die in 2001.
Juntaro Yamanouchi also reactivated Vis A Vis Audio Arts label in 2016, and produced many new releases. Particularly, J.Y published several compilations, such as Art Is (C)over Vol.1 - Tribute to The Gerogerigegege 'official bootleg' collection, with 26 renditions of many Gero classics and hidden gems by Giht Shasie (Croatia), Michael Gillham (UK), Bungus (Canada), Porreria (Brazil), Noise Soneta (Bali), Blue Sabbath Black Fiji (Scotland) and many other known and unknown international artists. In good bootleggin' tradition, this album reused most tracks from Art Is Over: A Tribute To The Gerogerigegege (2015) cassette by a Dutch label Ontregeld Geluid Records without any permission. An archival collection Rebellion 1985, originally compiled in 1985 and newly edited in 2016, featured previously unreleased tracks by several unknown artists, as well as Jun Kuramitsu's Boh Boh, Göran Lundh as Pax Romana, Merzbow, an Unknown Titled track by a German industrial/noise band P16.D4, Mauthausen Orchestra, Gerogerigegege, and Alain Neffe as I Scream.
In 2017, Juntaro presented a steady stream of original releases and obscure reissues on Vis A Vis Audio Arts, including a couple tapes by Hal McGee under his Dog As Master alias: an original Brash Pussy 1990 cassette and a reissue of a seminal Live In Memphis 10-03-87 At The Antenna Club concert, long out-of-print tape originally produced in '88 by Harsh Reality Music and Cause And Effect labels in the US. The label continued with a series of seven tapes by a freeform improvised noise band Smell & Quim, including reissues of their earliest and most important cassettes, The English Method and Cosmic Bondage, originally self-released in England via Stinky Horse Fuck in '88 and '95, as well as a new album Atom Heart Motherfucker and a Quimtessence / Powerfuck / Lavatory triptych. Juntaro Yamanouchi collaborated with the Mickey Guitar Band, a Japanese psychedelic/spacerock collective, and co-produced their latest From The Deep LP on a German label Psych.KG, also playing the percussion. Juntaro's label issued a 4 Way Split The Gerogerigegegege cassette, split between Countless Songs by Kuzuramushi and The Pig Foot Eaters Experience, a live document 21th/7/1999 At Macs by Ashra with Katsutoshi Munechika on bass, and a collaborative The Gerogeritarashi / Baka Onani In Kaka track on the B-side.
At the same time, several unofficial and bootleg releases outside of Juntaro's camp had appeared, namely through a US label Unit 731 Japan, all on 7" lathe cut in the very limited edition of 21 copies. A re-issue of Masturbation Rarities, a 2012 bootleg from anonymous 'trusted' source, as well as two selections of early '85 recordings, Senzuri Fist Fuck Volume 1 and Volume 2.
In 2018, Juntaro presented Senzuri Champion Revised, an expanded edition of the Gero classic first album with alternate takes, live versions and unreleased sounds from 1985/88. Eight tracks include a short collage of noise and masturbation sounds Senzuri An[Nu]al Report (subtitled 'Sensory activity report' in Japanese); a 20-min track combining a never released second demo for Violence Onanie (one of the tracks from the original Senzuri Champion LP), recorded at Takaido Fukushi Center in Oct '85 with Tohru Maruyama on bass and J.Y (vocals, noises, guitar, guitar tuner), and Live At Tokyo Gay Center recorded with Gero 30 on vocals in Apr '87 and transferred directly from the 1989 acetate. Another track related to the original album is a 15-min long None Friendly ☞ Anal Beethoven ☞ Lsd, recorded live in Nov '87 with Toshinobu Fukuda on drums, J.Y making vocals and noises while performing on a guitar and guitar tuner, and Gero 30 responsible for public senzuri. The collection also included two short tracks submitted by Gerogerigegege fans, Gero 34 from Spain and Gero 27 from France, with raw field recordings of them masturbating and loudly moaning. The closing track is a Death Balearic Mix of Senzuri Champion (subtitled 'SEX is a rehearsal of Sensory for us'), recorded at Ohtsuka Penta in Feb '87 and featuring Toshiyuki Ohta on drums and J.Y on guitar tuner and piano, a long offbeat powernoise lo-fi mix slowly melting the initial melody and rudimentary rhythmical structure into a thick wall of drone. The liner notes to the album encouraged fans to send more 'senzuri recordings' and provided Juntaro's current @yahoo.co.jp address, as well as 'thanks' to Jun Konagaya (Grim/Eskimo Records), Hitoshi Akii (R.I.P/LSD), Kenichiro Nishida, and Sergey Kuryokhin (R.I.P). A limited expanded edition Senzuri Champion Revised = センズリチャンピオン-改訂版- had a bonus CD-R 'Too Much Rare Tracks We Are Over' with 10 more tracks.
Most recent original works by other artists on Vis A Vis Audio Arts include Genocide Of The Good Friends album by free jazz/noisecore free improv outfit Haigan, as well as a debut album Cullcanecho = カルカンエコー with melodic folk-pop songs and Portuguese ballads by Japanese singer Cullcanecho, produced by Juntaro.
The Gerogerigegege line-up (circa 1993)
Juntaro Yamauchi (Juntaro Gero) – noise, vocals
Tetsuya Endoh (Gero 30) – exhibitionism, public masturbation*
Toshinori Fukuda (Dynamite Gero) – drums**
Fumiyoshi Suzuki (NP) – guitar, bass***
Hironao Komaki (Dee Dee Gero) – guitar
Junko Katoh (Gero Grace Seijoh) – live manager
Masatoshi Katsuya (Gero Route 66) – driver
* GERO 30 used to be GERO 56 for a certain period of time, until embracing back his original alias. The person behind Gero 36 alias is yet unconfirmed; it could be simply a typo referring to Gero 56.
** An alternative dual credit 死にました for Toshinori Fukuda drumming with Kuso (2) on vocals was used on パンクの鬼 (Tokyo Anal Dynamite) album.
*** Fumiyoshi Suzuki also performed and recorded with J.Y. as The Gero-P duo, and they produced a self-titled The Gero-P tape on ZSF Product in 1986 (later reissued), as well as several bootlegs.
S.I, Lip (2) (in 1987/88), Fuyuhiko Saitoh – drums
Motohiko Satoh – metal action
Shobu Saitoh – vocals
Katsutoshi Munechika, Tohru Maruyama – bass
Akira Shibazaki – guitar (plus bass on the Gero's / Bastard Noise split 7" in 1996)
Tatsuya Yoshida – drums, mastering, guest appearances