Various Artists: “TINCTURE OF JAPANOISE” CD
ABISYEIKAH open compilation with material what is very much representation of things I don’t care much in contemporary noise. Overt digital feel over everything. Despite variety of sound sources, there is always technical glitch present in sound, and goofy colorful feel of “mashup”. Musical fragments, variation of pitch bending & speed varying wankery. At the best, one could vaguely lump it in category of Flying Testicle or such Japanese obscurities, yet there is hardly anything for me.
Project called Zr3a takes step towards noisier expression, but it has the similar flaws. While one-dimensional noise cut-up lacks the punch and power, it still is fairly decent. Mixing fragments of Japanese pop culture TV sounds and movie samples breaks anything what was seemingly good about it. One can’t deny that here wouldn’t be elements that are not far from some works of THE GEROGERIGEGEGE. During 10 minute duration he may suddenly do short piece of vocals and rubbish noise or insert piece from classical music. If this would be recorded all-on-red to analogue tape, it is possible it would add the needed sonic transformation for noise to have proper punch.
NAOKI NOMOTO work may be based on circuit bending or synths. Mostly clean treble oscillations and zip zaps of lazerwar, with no actual mass, heaviness, loudness or brutality. Despite not being among type of noise I prefer to listen to, it’s easy to conclude that in its genre, Naoki Nomoto isn’t bad at all.
It really took to half way of compilation to come across actually good project. EMEME doesn’t go to drastically different direction. Sounds and atmosphere remain suitable in line, yet EMEME simply does a lot better. It is cascading mass of loops and complex electronic sound explosions what are not really noisy in terms of distortion, but hectic, filled with tasty fragments and textural details. It’s somewhere in line of Merzbow Loop Panic Limited (found as companion on Batztoutai with Memorial Gadgets 2xCD), but naturally with sharpness of 2014 technology.
ELMA goes forward to more traditional harsh noise. The louder you listen it, the better it gets. There isn’t so much personality what it offers, but one of the best representatives on this compilation when you think what JAPANOISE would be. Several layers of distorted noises coming & going abruptly. Not as extreme stop & go like Kazumoto Endo, but neither solid harshness of Incapacitants. Somewhere between, offering guaranteed dose of noise one can appreciate even if ELMA barely stands from the line.
HEDOROMERUHEN is something that fans of craziness of THE GEROGERIGEGE could enjoy. It doesn’t really imitate anything Yuntaro is famous of doing, but represents similar lawless approch to tracks. It may be fragments of spoken word jumping into electronic noise and suddenly just someone improvising some drums or other instrument. Seemingly all sorts of shit thrown together in surreal or even retarded mix. At times it almost convinces me, but then introduction of wrong kinds of sounds starts to annoy.
ZPORE ZPAWN is somewhere between all these. When they feel like it, they may slide in proper noise blasting, yet also pitch/tempo wankery, glitch and breakbeat-drumming samples and stutterloops. I have strong dislike how sound fragments when it is digitally slowed down, with use of kaoz pad and likes. Even more so for the generic junglebeats, so the like ZZ has to offer, is too little. They best quality here is shorter track than the rest have.
JAH EXCRETION is really the only project here I was familiar with. It seems as if the other projects are hardly connected to “international noise scene” that I know, yet Jah Excretion at least has made tape releases on labels such as Wintage Records & Tapes (Canada) and Cipher (Australia). It is also utterly clear their approach is closest to what generally appears in Special Interest magazine. Slowly waving electronic noise with ethereal droning on the back may be fairly simple composition method compared to some of the other artists on the disc. Yet beyond the overall surface level, actual texture moves frantically. It is both relaxing and energetic at the same time.
Tincture of Japanoise was published already 2014 and sent to Special Interests to be featured in magazine. Due long delays between issues, now in 2017, situation in Japanese noise underground may be different. Nevertheless, while I wouldn’t rate it anywhere near the “classic era” of Japanese noise compilations, one can’t deny that this is not simply rehashing the old, but actually new face of Japanese noise what is largely ignored by international noise labels. My assumption is, that vast majority of this material now exists most of all, online. It is not the type of noise what walks hand in hand with limited edition tapes and in circles of industrial noise “cultural terrorists”.