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"On Monochrome Otomo presents 18 pieces that illustrate the entire range of his solo work from pieces constructed entirely of feedback, static and randomly generated radio noise, to sine wave experiments that bring to mind the humming of the solar wind as it wafts through intergalactic space. There are also rhythmic bursts of feedback and percussion that are almost danceable and subtle Zen like meditations full of slow sustained notes that fill the air with otherworldly overtones. The Multiple Otomo DVD provides a dizzying compliment to Otomo's music, full of jittery images both real and manipulated, flashes of visual white noise, strobe-like quick cuts, multiple split screens and extreme close ups that put the instruments Otomo is using into a new visual context. The 30 segments feature improvisations on turntable and guitar complimented by the imaginative video work of Masako Tanaka, Michelle Silva, and Tim Digulla. "Vinyls" has Otomo taking scratching to an extreme level,
using recorded music to destroy our notions of what music should be. On "Plucks" Otomo plays rubber bands stretched and anchored to turntable knobs, tone arms and spindles, using LPs as mallets and caressing the rubber bands with a violin bow; the music is pensive and playful. "Frets" showcase Otomo's guitar skills in stark black and white video. The piece is full of clanging feedback and rhythmic noise producing what may be the ultimate metal guitar workout. "Tone Generator" is an oscillator solo that moves from gritty feedback to smooth pulsing sine waves accompanied by acid washed video effects. The program ends with two calming interludes: "Blue Feedback" is a combination of gentle thrumming feedback and throbbing abstract color, while "Turntable Graveyard" is a slow, meditative eulogy for the machinery Otomo has destroyed in his performances. Staccato strings or perhaps plucked rubber bands supply a funereal soundtrack while the camera pans over the ruins of records and
turntables suggesting battlefields and graveyards."
Cat. number: ASP 3007