SEVERANCE NOISE – OTOMO YOSHIHIDE LIVEby Ghostwriter July 27, 2011 1 comment
Through the high halls of dissonance the sirens send their call. They shriek like knives on glass and splinter wormwood throughout the mansion of elegance. As they glide from room to room, the surrounding landscape is transformed into a wash of noise and simultaneous deafness, can you hear the silence? Otomo Yoshihide spearheads the siren’s assault. Otomo Yoshihide is a guitarist, turntabilist, multi-instrumentalist, and sound sculptor who makes some of the most abrasive and ear piercing sounds imaginable. Yoshihide gives falling buildings a run for their money in terms of sonic onslaught. He pushes the boundaries of sound and instrument and revels in absolute wanton disregard for song structure and anything remotely associated with a “song”. Fall into the feedback abyss after the jump
Otomo Yoshihide rose to prominence among the underground Japanese Noise scene of the early-mid 1980s, as a guitarist. His homemade and deconstructed guitars squeeled and shrieked as he drove screwdrivers, impact drivers and just about everything else into the instruments. As a member of the seminal Japanese Noise group Ground-Zero, which at one point had as many as 13 musicians, Yoshihide began utilizing turntables. First as samplers and then shedding the vinyl in favor of turning the catalyst into noise machine.
Often attaching cymbals, CB radio headsets and tuning prongs to his turntable, Yoshihide reconsiders the importance and use of the turntable as an instrument rather than something that relies on external memory, hitting harder than any other group known to man. The needle catches all of the hisses, ticks, thumps, pops, and clicks. This particular genre is often regarded as Electro-Acoustic Improvisation, or EAI, and is more of an exploration of noise and sound then of crafting legitimate music. As most of the performed pieces are improvised, they are often regarded as live experiments in sound. Oddly enough there is something elegant about this music. It could be due to the fact that it’s essentially the furthest evolution of Jazz or perhaps because all of the members of the EAI scene look like professors. Even more odd is that the music carries the contradictory clause of being the most absolute brutal music imaginable. It consistently sounds and feels like a computer doused in Whiskey. So while the rest of the world will bicker whether Liturgy(or whoever) is truly “black metal” and “truly brutal”, a quaint Japanese man sits at a fucking turntable creating pants-shitting, molar-rolling noise that would cause inward convulsions to anyone within a 20 mile radius.