The Observatory and Keiji Haino release collaborative live album, ‘Authority Is Alive’

Capturing an improvised set by the Japanese avant-garde veteran and the Singaporean rock band

Experimental artists The Observatory and Keiji Haino have unveiled their long-awaited live album, ‘Authority Is Alive’.

Released via Ujikaji Records, the album is a document of a surprise one-night performance by the veteran Japanese musician and the Singaporean avant rock band, captured at the Playfreely Festival in Singapore.

Playfreely, held last November, featured collaborative performances from musicians based in Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Yogyakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.


“Bearing the theme “The Transparency of Turbulence”, the festival featured a strong line-up of East Asian and Southeast Asian artists and bore the ambition to be ‘an alternative to how we coalesce and navigate a region that is continuously torn apart by words, egos, greed and ideologies’.” writes Ujikaji Records.

‘Authority Is Alive’ receives its digital release today. The album can be purchased on vinyl from Ujikaji Records via Bandcamp, with only 200 copies available. Listen to it below:

‘Authority Is Alive’ is the latest release from The Observatory in two years. The bandteamed up with Norwegian improv-rock trio MoE and Japanese psychedelic rock outfit Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. for separate releases in 2018.

Their last studio effort was ‘August is the cruellest’, released in 2016. Since then, The Observatory have become a three-piece: the trio of Dharma, Yuen Chee Wai and Cheryl Ong.

For Keiji Haino, ‘Authority Is Alive’ arrives atop a long list of recent collaborative efforts with artists such as Merzbow, This Heat’s Charles Hayward, Sumac, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi.


The Observatory are due to give their first performance in a while on October 5 for a lunchtime concert series by Singapore’s LASALLE College of the Arts. Find more info on the livestream and others by Asian artists and festivals here.

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