Heavy Radiq is the second studio album from the Radiq Septet. Led by brilliant composer, producer, and film-maker, Yoshihiro Hanno on vocals, and Fender Rhodes, Hiroshi Inaya on Winds, Tetsuya Heike on Alto, Takanori Kameda on Bass, Yoshikazu Madokoro on Guitar, Mitsuru Watanabe on Drums, and Hiroaki “Chang-woo” Murase on Percussion.
Released in 2009, Heavy Radiq deviates slightly from its predecessor, Panic In A Spaceship. Where the former is a full-on Jazz fusion expedition, Heavy Radiq feels more like walking on to the set of Shaft.
Channeling the inner city blues of 60’s black America, the album is a drive down a boulevard of flashbacks; the cold-shoulder of society— viewed through the dark shaded lens of post-segregation America, minority youths in rebellion, urban riots in full swing, and the beginning of the decaying, destitute city life, that would go on to last for the better part of three decades.
The album opens with Mystic Dope, a sobering monologue by Hanno; backed by dancing percussions and fluttering winds. It’s a smoke filled beatnik hang-out, where disillusioned young people gather to lament.
On title track Heavy Radiq, the band melts into a Blaxplotation frenzy; heavy on funk, soul, and roots; they seriously strut their technical skills over the course of the entire 9 minutes of the track. It’s a mack’s theme, meant to keep the pimp hand forever strong.
South Ghetto Drive Part II is a hommage to the late, great, Gil-Scott Heron; where Hanno lends his vocals, a tongue in cheek, but an otherwise sublime piece; touching on social issues, and showcasing his virtous Fender skills.
Through and through, Heavy Radiq is an excellent Jazz influenced album from an artist usually known for his Techno compositions. Physical copies are hard to come by, but you can purchase the mp3 here if you’re really digging it.