All of your favorites, in one place.
To start with, we've always commended Japan's Doubtmusic label for the handsome packaging job that each one of their digipack cd releases invariably receives. This one, though, we'd probably be inclined to buy just 'cause of the especially cool cover art alone! Done by one Tomoo Gokita, the cover suggests an arched window in a brightly patterned wall, looking out on (a photo of) some majestic snow-capped alpine mountain (the Matterhorn, is it?). But in front of the "window", the corpse-painted visage of King Diamond pokes up unexpectedly, screaming at you... WITH, IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY, A MINIATURE HEAD IN HIS MOUTH. Quite confusionally cool, eh? But for what sort of music could this art be at all appropriate? Well, why not an electronics-augmented Japanese drums duo featuring someone who once played in the Boredoms/Vooredoms?! 'Cause that's what this is, with a vengeance.
Erstwhile Boredom Muneomi Senju (drums, percussion, electronics) teams up with Tasuhisa Yamamoto (drums, metals, percussion, gong, odaiko drums) for 7 tracks of mostly percussion-only soundscapery, from "primitive groove" to "wall of onkyo" in style, according to Doubtmusic's description, which also cites poly-rhythms and harmonic overtones as things you'll hear here, and we don't doubt it, these tracks are widely varied and always intriguing, certainly bizarre enough at times to merit the colorful, epic high weirdness of that awesome album cover art!
The likes of "Foggy In Aquarium" and "Coral Flirtation" feature calm, complex layers of percussive playing, free-jazzy but not really free, with lots of bells and chimes and liquid tricklings... tinklings and twinklings... lovely stuff! THEN, there's the erratic and effected thwap-and-snap of "Scattered Devils". Zany, zappy drum hits and other bits that sound sampled from some futuristic Carl Stalling cartoon score, cut-and-pasted with slaphappy abandon together with electronic textures, ultimately funking it up in fractured, spastic fashion that reminds us of another recent Doubtmusic release, Sim + Otomo's Monte Alto Estate. Perhaps 'cause this track was further remixed by guest producer Yuta Segawa, it's the most "computery" sounding cut on here, whereas the rest of this disc comes off as much more organic, without all that obvious digital tomfoolery (cool though we think it is). Organic, AND trancelike, such as with the ritualistic rainfall pitter patter percussion, swirling and circling, of "Correspon-dance", or the endless drum-roll and cymbal-shimmer of the 8 minute plus "Fricative Lights" - very Boredoms Super Rootsy, that one!
Now as we've always said, about the only "drum circle" we can stand is one that involves the Boredoms. But two drummers does not a drum circle make AND there's a Boredoms connection both sound- and personnel-wise here. So unless you HATE percussion, this is definitely an out-there experiment in rhythm(z) to check out. Speaking of drum circles, opener "Chronoscope Fatigue" and closer "Chronoscope Fatigue Variation" are the closest this duo come to that sort of thing here, and that's not that close, unless you're familiar with drum circles that make a practice of all falling down the stairs while they're jamming... (Aquarius)