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LETHE - Catastrophe Point #5

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Intransitive Recordings INT034
Release Year: 2009
Note: post-industrial field / instrumental recordings made at abandoned industrial sites working with natural space / reverb
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €12.00

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"The latest in Kuwayama Kiyoharu's signature series of compositions that explore the charged, mysterious atmosphere of disused industrial sites. For this album, LETHE turns his attention to an abandoned warehouse by a pier in his hometown of Nagoya, Japan, using objects discovered in situ to perform a ritual of sonic resurrection. He brings a dead space back to life, giving it a voice and allowing it to speak. Metal chains, sheet metal, broken machinery, and factory debris are bowed, struck, and dragged across the concrete floors of the massive hall, reverberating and responding as Kuwayama and his microphones scuttle across the desolate terrain. Growling cello and unstable horns underscore the torrents of percussive clatter. Catastrophe Point #5 is a haunting album of volatile, malevolent ambience. For fans of Christoph Heemann, Surface of the Earth, The New Blockaders, Z'ev, or Organum." [label info]


"Metgumbnerbone is not a reference that pops up all that much, nor is it one that would mean much to anyone who isn't a complete dork
about British esoteric experimental musics. But that's where we'll start for this review because that's the reference that one such dork had to make here at Aquarius (it was Jim if you must know). Metgumbnerbone was a shadowy collection of dour Brits (including Richard Rupenus of The New Blockaders) who took up residence in an abandoned factory somewhere in Newcastle and constructed a bleak ritualist music out of the refuse found within. Scraping metal and atonal horns crafted out of plumbing material abound in the Metgumbnerbone vocabulary. Such is the case for Lethe as well, the found-space project of Japanese improviser Kuwayama Kiyoharu. However, as Metgumbernone's post-electrical scrabblings were the result of a collective effort, Lethe's spatializations emerge from an orchestra of one. It seems impossible that he did not overdub many of these sounds, but the production so fully embraces the cavernous space of his choosing that Lethe's pieces sound as if they were constructed in a single take.
For Catastrophe Point #5, Lethe used an abandoned grain warehouse located on the outskirts of Nagoya, Japan. Much more than an
ambivalent shuffling or wandering scattering of clunky sounds, Lethe amasses sympathetic scrapings from pieces of metal, large and small, as they are dragged, bowed, and beaten throughout the space. Long form drones emerge throughout the performance as if he's triggering a resonant frequency of the space, echoing against itself. It's true that many of these sounds resemble those found on the impossible to find Metgumberbone records, but other references would be Organum's Vacant Lights album, Z'ev's finer moments, the recent John Grzinich constructions, and even Yoshi Wada's bellowing recordings of his Earth
Horns. Excellent!" [Aquarius Records]