Drone Records
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Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: 23five Incorporated and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 23F/SFM 901
Release Year: 2002
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €15.00

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23FIVE INCORPORATED ist nicht nur seit Jahren der wichtigste Konzertveranstalter fr experimentelle Musik in San Francisco, sondern inzwischen auch als Label ttig. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ist eine Compilation-Reihe entstanden, die pro Ausgabe Projekte eines einzigen Landes vorstellt. Hier JAPAN. Eine sehr variantenreiche Reise ins musikalisch-experimentelle Herz des Landes.

Last year, local educational sound-arts organization 23five and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art co-presented a ten hour listening event/installation documenting the past 50 years of Japanese experimental music entitled "Ju-Jikan" (which translates as '10 hours' in Japanese). Curators Atau Tanaka, Ryoji Ikeda, and Shunichiro Okada described it not as a comprehensive taxonomy of Japanese experimentation, but simply sought "to trace the complex web of sonic style that constitutes the current Japenese musical landscape." Tanaka, who wrote the liner notes for the program, further explained that the curatorial choices were also guided by how the West perceives Japan and how Japan considers its own representation towards the West.
This double cd compiles elements selected from that ten hour listening event at SFMOMA (the full ten hours would have required mp3 encoding and much in the way of complicated licensing arrangements!), focusing upon the more contemporary elements of experimental Japanese music. These sounds draw their connections through the recombinant power of electronic synthesis and the juxtaposition of disparate styles; which together have become a standard if elusively-defined musical vocabulary for Japanese music. "Ju-Jikan" features physically challenging noise from Merzbow, Masonna, Hanatarash (Eye from the Boredoms), Pain Jerk, and Tetsuo Furudate; 'anti-academic' reactionary modes of Yasunao Tone and Yuji Takahashi; purist minimalism of tonal austerity from Ryoji Ikeda, Otomo Yoshihide, and Nerve Net Noise; and delicate electrodrone work from Kazuo Uehara, Tamami Tono, and Kozo Inada. A really important collection indeed. We're told some tracks are previously released, some not, but it's hard to tell which -- chances are you'd have to be a really geeked-out collector to have many of these already, and even in that case you'd still want this for the rest. The cd booklet gives Tanaka's detailed notes on all styles covered, a graphic timeline of Japanese experimental sound genres, and a program for the full ten-hour event so you can see what you missed. [Aquarius Records]