KOJI ASANO – Tokyo Sunrise

Solstice

Koji Asano: all sounds, composition

One’s perennially at a loss for words when it comes to lucubrate about what’s comprised by Koji Asano’s laptop-generated opuses. In Tokyo Sunrise – as in many other occasions with this Japanese loner – the pattern of mentally positioning the sources in the 55-minute track is all but unserviceable given the habitual manipulation applied by the composer to render them pretty much unidentifiable. Perhaps voices, guitars… A modicum of field recordings? So what, anyway? Let the obsessional “experts” do the dirty work and see what happens in terms of resounding and impulsive properties. Glancing from afar, this might be regarded as a “quaking drone” album: most everything seems to arise from convulsive emanations which, after several cycles of shivering reflection, fade one into another in cascading mode. There is a general sense of impairment, there is feedback (more or less controlled); the ambience is rather troubled, an assembly of inhumanly brutal forces ready to set the universe on fire. But it’s not happening, for a fluctuating equilibrium is reached where polytonal shades and strident distortion negociate a coexistence in armed armistice; the adjective “celestial” could be (carefully) utilized. Not in the New Age acceptation, though: alternatively, imagine a mix of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music and the harsher pages from Roland Kayn’s book to get a muzzy icon of what materializes around the 20th minute and forward. The entire piece is inundated by relative contrasts, which in any case does not assist those desirous of scrutinizing the diminutive particulars. On the contrary, this is an education course in the psychological management of unstable (and occasionally tempestuous) massiveness that will leave you stunned and benumbed at the end. Or else, you haven’t really been willing to get overwhelmed by it as you should have.

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