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KOJO, HITOSHI - Ezo

Format: 10inch
Label & Cat.Number: Alluvial Recordings A29
Release Year: 2009
Note: two great side-long recordings of this Japanese artist known also as KODAMA (with MICHAEL NORTHAM) and SPIRACLE => everything derived from found objects which sounds like huge metal sheets, flexible rods of steel or long pieces of wire, creating a ritualistic atmosphere reminding on ORGANUM, but this also stands out through the technical post-producution (using backwards sounds, layers, etc..).. inspired by entities from the Japanese mythology
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.50


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Zwei fantastische Stücke auf dieser 10" von HITOSHI KOJO, der auch als SPIRACLE und mit KODAMA aktiv ist. Er benutzt vor allen Dingen mächtige, quietschende Metallplatten, die wohl mit einem Geigenbogen gespielt werden, setzt dagegen aber kontrastierend eher ruhige, rieselnde Objekt-Noises. Zudem ertönen im Hintergrund Bläsersounds und ab und zu blecherne Perkussionsschläge.. das Material wird z.T. gedoppelt, übereinandergelegt, ertönt rückwärtig, und ergibt so eine sehr kraftvolle, rituell anmutende Melange. Alte ORGANUM-Platten kommen einem in den Sinn, aber HITOSHI KOJO erweitert die reine Improvisation gekonnt durch kompositorische Bearbeitung... absolut begeisternd ! HITOSHI KOJO wird als Nummer DR-100 - die letzte Drone 7" - demnächst auch auf Drone Records erscheinen.

^"The title of the pieces of this record "Hiruko" and "Ebisu" are the two names of one mythical being in Japanese mythology. "Hiruko" is a firstborn child of the god, who was deserted in the sea, because he could not stand up by three years old. He drifted ashore to the land of human beings, and was cherished by the people. Then he was brought up as a god, and was worshipped by the people as "Ebisu".
Somehow I was haunted by the story all the time during the working period. Therefore the names became the titles. Afterwards I knew that "Ebisu" is also an alias of "Ezo" which was the old name of northern part of Japan. So it was adopted as the album title. Although the theory that Ezo equate with Ainu seems to be disputed sometime, I chose the name as a tribute to my favorite Ainu mythologies, and to the folks. The image on the cover is "Ebisu" which has visited in my mind at the time. Although it's quite different from the traditional image...
The sound source of the pieces were all produced by "found-object" which were mostly found from daily commodities. The resonance of the inside of objects and the resonance of the recorded spaces were also treated as the material. The process to find an object which is usually not used as a musical instrumet was considered as a part of the execution. Therefore people's name who found some of the objects were mentioned in the cover.
Also the vinyl record was fatally chosen for the album as an "object" which must be worn and be degraded by the condition and the frequency of the use. The noises by dusts and surface scratches on the disk should be listened as a part of the piece."(Hitoshi Kojo)

" Occasionally working in the past as Spiracle, Hitoshi Kojo presents this thoroughly amazing piece of ancient-sounding drone music. No doubt, Kojo's work will be compared to that of the classic Organum sound; but considering that very few have even come close to replicating the power and mystery of such classic Organum recordings as Ikon or Horii, such parallels should be taken as the highest praise. Kojo claims that all of the sounds originated from various found objects. He doesn't specify beyond that, but all of the objects must be metal in origin, probably large pieces of sheet metal, or flexible rods of steel, or long pieces of wire, or something equally resonant and with a dynamic timbral quality. Each of these objects is bowed in order to coax a controlled dissonance of metallic screeches, protracted tonal bellows, and various acoustic drones. The two compositions are simple in their moderate pacing of the ebb and flow between all of these sounds, not too slow... but certainly not too fast. Through these recordings, Kojo offers very little in the way of digital treatments or effects of any nature. Just a terse edit of one layer here, or a reversing of a metallic gong decay there. The results are a timeless set of interlocking metallic rasps and gasping drones that rivals what Harry Bertoia, Taj Mahal Travellers, LaMonte Young, and of course Organum had done so impeccably in the past. Beautiful, mysterious, and very highly recommended!" [Aquarius Records review]

"... he uses metal sheets or metal strings to play music that is not unlike the very early Organum 'In Extremis' sound, but whereas Organum slowed down his tapes to get his full sound, Kojo doesn't slow this tapes, but opts for a multi-layered sound. He staples as it were his material together. All sorts of possibilities to play the metal with bows are used here, but the beauty lies in the mix of the multiple sound sources. Two lovely pieces here pressed on vinyl, which have exactly the right length to maintain full interest by the listener. A fine little record, a great, daring piece of drone music, and one that is
created almost acoustically. That's how these thing should be done. More I'd add." [FdW / Vital Weekly]


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