by V.A.



Compiled and curated by ORiFiCE
Coverartwork by GOVERNMENT ALPHA
Design by EMERGE



released November 16, 2014

While Merzbow plays museums and ‘noise’ becomes increasingly canonised in ‘high culture,’ this compilation proves that the underground, countercultural Japanese noise scene is still very much alive and kicking. Noisician ORiFiCE, who also curates the noise-oriented Rollator Series on the attenuation circuit label, has been a keen follower of Japanoise for many years. For this album, he has assembled a range of younger artists from Japan whose pieces display an exhilarating freshness and showcase the great variety of approaches that is covered by the umbrella term ‘noise.’ The great surrealist/punk collage cover was created by established noisician Government Alpha.

“Frustrante oso polar!”, the opening track by Abisyeikah, clearly establishes noise as anti-music: samples of marching bands and other similarly traditional music are sonically destroyed with distorted guitars and computer-game beeps. Sounds like machinegunning reactionary composers at a game arcade, which is to say: a lot of fun! Zr3a also opens his track “Dr. Strangenoise” with a very famous sample … and goes on to desecrate it thoroughly. A great track with a great deal of humour, just as, thankfully, most of the tracks here are self-consciously playful and indulging the bliss of noise instead of rehashing the by now overly familiar poses of cultural pessimism. “Bean” by Naoki Nomoto has a more abstract take on noise. Its feedback and glitch-type sounds created with an analog synthesizer are faintly reminiscent of more academic electronic music. “LxDxP (Love Dream Peace)” by Ememe goes in another direction with its rhythmic quasi-techno noise, a real headbanger. Elma pays tribute to the classic Japanoise sound as defined by Merzbow with the hissing, harsh “(In)Tolerance?” The next piece makes for one of several interesting contrasts that the album offers thanks to ORiFiCE’s clever sequencing of the tracks: “Grandblue” by Hedoromeruhen gives evidence to the territory shared by noise and (free) jazz while taking the piss out of some softer sides of music along the way. With “Gainful Heart Amen Noiser” by Zpore Zpawn, we launch into the finish of the album, in which samples of classical music collide head on with hectic, energetic harsh noise in overdrive. The final track by Jah Excretion is titled “Sleep Garden” – a programmatic title in so far as this piece gives evidence to the (apparent) paradox that the noisiest music can sometimes be the most meditative and soothing.

File under: noise


The final CD release for now is an eight-track compilation dedicated to the world Japanese noise music. As the label says, Merzbow plays museums and 'noise becomes increasingly canonised in 'high culture', somebody has to look out for the real underground. This compilation digs deep into the underground, I guess, as none of the eight names mean anything to me. We have the abstract mess/mash-up collage by Abisyeikah, which bounces all over the place, while Ludwig Van's Fifth opens the piece by Zr3a, and throughout he uses more bits of classical music, which I didn't recognize, but like a good droog Alex as he probably he is, he places a bit of ultra-violence in large granite blocks on the road. Naoki Nomoto seems to be much more serious with a piece for analogue synthesizer or computer glitches and operates in a more traditional (?) academic electronic music way, but taking 50+ years of electronic music to a noisy top-floor. Ememe is the first more traditional noisemaker, in the best Merzbow tradition, not bad, but we do have Merzbow already, which actually might also be said about Elma. Free improvisation arrives from Hedoromeruhen, and perhaps, sometimes, also a bit on the soft side. It's also the first time we hear the rattling of a drumkit here. Zpore Zpawn is also about the more traditional Merzbow, but then era of 'SCUM', cutting through a whole bunch of blocks of feedback and heavily treated drum sounds - and remember: Merzbow too was a drummer very early on. Jah Excretion might be an all to effective destruction of dub music. This is an interesting and fine introduction to a whole bunch of new names.

Bad Alchemy:

Burkhard Jäger, einschlägig bekannt als der noisophile Orifice, hat mit Tincture Of Japanoise (ACU 1002, CD-R) acht aktuelle Vertreter dieser ultrabruitisti­schen Ästhetik kompiliert. Ob da weiterhin die Spätfolgen jener großen Kantō-und Little Boy-Kicks spürbar sind, die als Godzillarandalen und Anfang der 1980er als Japanoise boomten, mit zugleich posttraumatischem Anstoß und therapeutischem Impetus? Wohl kaum. Abisyeikah, seit 1994 aktiv, lassen einen Eisbären tanzen zu Mariachis, verhackstücktem Gesang, Videospielkrawall und gebolzten Beats. Das harsche Grau in Grau pulverisieren sie mit Schneekano­nen zum kasperlbunten Feuerwerk, zum Mashup mit Discogestampfe. 'Dr. Strange­noise' wird bei Zr3a zum Gunslinger-Overkill, bei dem sie ihre Magazine gegen klassische Phantome leer feuern, die im 3/4-Takt umeinander geistern. Aufs Korn nehmen sie aber auch das Schwadronieren über Atomenergie als Allheil­mittel. Während andere den Strauß spielen und alles den Bach runter geht, leisten sie Widerstand bis zur letzten Platzpatrone. Naoki Nomoto (der auch schon mit HUH Geister erschreckt hat) überrascht bei 'Bean' mit impulsivem Modularsynthiegefurzel und -gezwitscher, DJ R2-D2 auf Raster Noton. Hiroshi Nomura lässt als ememe die 'Love-Dream-Peace'-Pumpe pumpen, was das Zeug hält, um einen toten Hasen auf Godzillagröße aufzublasen. Ueda Hideo, der als Elma schon auf Neus-318 umeinander tobte, obwohl er für die zarte Ak­trice Ayako Wakao schwärmt und er auch offene Ohren für Conrad Schnitzler hat, zeigt harsch wütende Nulltoleranz gegen Intoleranz. Das Duo Hederome­ruhen mischt Flöte und Stimmen in einen perkussiven und dann komisch ent­schleunigten Loop und stimmt sogar Liedermachergewinsel an. Allerhand An­spielungen sind an uns Langnasen verschwendet, aber wenn sie dann Taikoge­trommel verstolpern, wird zumindest die Tendenz deutlich. Eine interessante Wahl. Zpore Zpawn ist wie Zr3a und Spore Spawn eine Maske von Hikaru Tsu­nematsu, der mit Drummachine und giftigen Impulsen, aber auch wieder Klas­siksamples Totstellreflexe auslöst. Zuletzt strahlt Jah Excretion mit brachial brasselndem Sandstrahldruck rundum den Beton kraut- und keimfrei. Wo nichts lebt, kann nichts verderben. Und das ist nach den smartiesbunten Innovationen dann doch der Raison d'être des Japanoise so treu, wie es dem japanischen Bushido-Kodex entspricht. [BA 84 rbd]




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