Hair Stylistics- Four Hour Multi Speaker Performance

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Masaya Nakahara will perform with a multi-speaker arrangement for four hours, as listed. Nakahara will team up with Yoshio Kuge of Flying Rhythms and Atsuhiro Ito of Optrum, certainly no stranger to this blog.

Here is what you need to know:
Venue: Super Deluxe
Time: opens at 17:00, starts at 17:30
Price: 2500円

Atsuhiro Ito performs at The Hara Museum

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reservations are currently being accepted for a solo performance at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. Ito will perform in The Hall, a uniquely shaped space rarely opened to performances to be followed by a talk by the artist. For those who may not know, Ito also makes time to work as a university professor of sound art, theory and approach; one of the many reasons why I always enjoy our interviews.

Sunday, September 13th in the Museum's Hall at 6:30 PM (doors at 6:00).
¥3000 for General Admission, ¥2,500 for Museum Members (with a guest).
Includes one drink and admission to the ongoing exhibition (so you can check it before the performance).
Reserve via telephone at 03-3445-0669 or info (at)

Posted by Vicente Gutierrez at 3:38 PM  

Instrumentalize 2009 Fluorescent Night

Monday, August 17, 2009

Atsuhiro Ito will collaborate with Minoru Sato for an evening entitled Instrumentalize09: Fluorescent night. Sato's research and creative activities are explored in the form of installations, performances and written text all in addition to which he is producing sound and more music-oriented works under the name S.A.S.W. Atsuhiro Ito's sound tool, the optron, should prove an adept combo with Sato's more installation-based style and orchestra of self-made instruments. Although, from what I gather they will performing as a fluorescent tube duo.

The less we know, the more we can expect.

Opens at 18:30, starts at 19:00 and costs 1,500 Yen (including 1 drink) at Gift Lab.


Gatax-EYE plus Hisham, tonight at Vacant

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We're finally back in town and back on the beat. Just got through a few days of shooting with Atsuhiro Ito and Hiroshi Hasegawa, who's first time ever collaboration we were excited to catch. Now we're just in time to catch Hisham's jam with EYE tonight. The two perform under the name Gatax and are averaging about one performance every two years.

This is a super quick update so please check the link below for more info on the show tonight (yes, tonight- excuse the last minute post) as well as the exhibit which Hisham is curating featuring some of our friends and favorite artists like Zach Hill, Brian Degraw, Bjorn Copeland, EYE and the list goes on.

New videos and interviews to be posted soon, still getting through hours of footage.


"And Co soon" EYE Yamataka exhibit at magical, ARTROOM

Sunday, July 5, 2009

While The Boredoms are preparing for a series of performances this summer and fall, EYE has also been busy getting together a set of new artworks for an exhibition at one of our favorite galleries, The Magical Artroom in Ebisu, Tokyo.

Upon entering the reception at the opening party, I was surprised to see the primary medium EYE had utilized for these works- car hoods. Catching up with EYE, the story goes that he was driving his car on the winding roads of Nara and had a bit of an accident. When the estimate made it clear the the car would be too expensive to repair, EYE had set the abandoned car hood on the side of his house. Eventually weeds and other plant life began to grow up alongside the crumpled surface and created a series of lines at which point EYE decided to take the hood indoors and draw his own lines, swirls and segments. After completing a landscape-themed image rendered by thin lines in an array of bright colors, EYE's excitement led the artist to purchase a few more hoods via Yahoo auctions. While at the opening reception, Sebastian and I had fun catching up with EYE and talked about The Boredoms upcoming performance on a cruise ship for 3 nights with Gang Gang Dance, Zach Hill and Goma in addition to a long list of other DJs and VJs.

The title of this exhibition, taken from the words “Art Coming Soon,” hinges on the idea that the works presented here are in progress. In progress because they were and are constantly formed, and reformed. These intensely visual expressions are a collage from the sounds, lines and everyday objects the artist has encountered in his somewhat prolific history. In the basement of the NADiff bookstore is a smaller exhibition of vinyl records and other music-related visual media EYE has chosen to create and recreate through a pop-charged mash up of realia. All of the records on the wall are for sale via a priced scale and can also be listened to for your visual and audio pleasure (This text adapted from my blog post at Shift).

Here are the details of the exhibit:
EYE Yamataka “& Co Soon” at Magical Artroom
Date: June 21st - July 18th, 2009
Open: 12:00-20:00, Closed on Sunday, Monday and Public Holidays
Place: magical, ARTROOM at Nadiff
Address: NADiff A/P/A/R/T 3F 1-18-4, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0013
Tel : 03-3445-8988
Admission: Free!

Posted by Vicente Gutierrez at 7:47 PM 0 comments  

Otomo Yoshihide's Ensembles continues at Vacant

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Otomo Yoshihide's ongoing work Ensembles, a large-scale musical exhibition held last year at the YCAM InterLab in Eastern Japan, comes to Tokyo for a short string of performances. The credo of discovering and utilizing new, or 'found,' sounds in composition remains at the core as Yoshihide continues working to "create a variety of musical devices in all sorts of places."

I'll continue on by extracting a lengthy quote from the Ensembles Manifesto:

The life-changing fascination with music that came over me in my teens was rooted in the discovery that new and unfamiliar sounds could cause a reaction among a large number of people gathered in one place. All of the music I loved--free jazz, free improvisation, noise, alternative--had this kind of effect. The fascination was not only with the music itself, but also with the feeling of total unity that came from the aura and power of the space and the gravitational pull existing among the people who were there. I wanted to get away from the kind of music that leaves no distance between sound source and eardrums; I wanted to bring back space and noise. I wondered what would happen if I tried to make music not just for individual listening, but music that emerged as it passed through the ears, hands and bodies of many people. This is how ENSEMBLES got started.

Its entitled ENSEMBLES, in the plural form, for the reason that Yoshihide envisioned an aggregate of works that were intertwined both in implication and development- something multilayered. With intentions less aligned as a single event but rather more in the direction of being plural and integral; which for Yoshihide means sometimes happening simultaneously or sometimes unfolding at a more comfortable pace yet leaving room for inconsistency and contradiction.

Referring back to the Ensembles Manifesto, Yoshihide continues:

For now, the idea is that between July and October, in a variety of venues, we'll present a wide range of new and previously existing works, performances, etc.--from very small to medium-sized events and from nearly individual creations to works involving many people-- that unfold semi-improvisationally at times, guerrilla-style at others. The plan itself is not fixed; my intention is to develop something that will adapt flexibly to each situation, something that could not be realized in an established art museum or concert hall. What's more, based on the results this time, I'm hoping to continue ENSEMBLES next year, the year after that, and into the future. It will be a challenge, but I'm sure it will be interesting.

For now, here are details of the coming Tokyo performance:

Otomo Yoshihide + Yasutomo Aoyama + Takayuki Ito/YCAM InterLab + Masayoshi Takada +α

Date: 7.4(Sat)-8.9(Sun) 13:00-20:00
Place: Vacant (3-20-13 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo/ 03-6459-2962)
Admission: ¥500 / ¥1,000 (with DVD!)
Organized by: N0 IDEA, ENSEMBLES Committee
Supported by: Fostex Company, Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Cooperated by: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media[YCAM]
Technical Supported by: YCAM InterLab

There are also a few events scheduled around so here is a rundown of more happenings:

Sunday July 5th brings the opening event with live sets by:
DJ トランキライザ (Tranquilizer), Aoyama Yasutomo+Otomo Yoshihide, Mori Yuko, Sachiko M and two others whose names I couldn't make out.

Sunday August 2nd features a talk event held with Otomo Yoshihide and Guest(s).

Sunday August 9th there is a closing event with a performance by Otomo Yoshihide and α which opens at 18:30 and starts at 19:00.

Posted by Vicente Gutierrez at 8:28 PM 0 comments  

A visit to Hideo Ikeezumi's PSF Records

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Last Wednesday brought a visit to PSF Records where Hideo Ikeezumi has been running his PSF shop and label HQ for about 30 years. Set in an inconspicuous apartment in central-west Tokyo, the shop is packed full of releases from the Japanese psychedelic and avant-garde underground; some in limited quantities and unfortunately out of print for good. Amidst the digging and 360-head scans of the room, we were even lucky enough to find an originally packaged, Incapacitants cassette tape from their earlier days among other treasures. So as a somewhat historical vault full of stories, renowned passersby and seeing Ikeezumi as one of the essential historical figures in this story, we were more than happy to land the chance to have an interview.

While at PSF, we had a great conversation which extended from historical themes, personal anecdotes, future plans even to simple thumbs-up-thumbs-down or to-stock-or-not-to-stock ratings as we chatted through the years and perused the shelves of releases (top shelf being reserved for his favorites). I also picked up a back issue of G-Modern, the psychedelic, avant-garde, underground magazine which Ikeezumi edits, which features an over ten page interview with Keiji Haino. To add, I also came away with a live recording of Takayanagi Masayuki, New Direction / Call In Question which Ikeezumi straight pushed on me and told me I needed to hear.

Photos: Cameron Mckean, more on our flickr.

DeNoise, Photos

Thursday, May 7, 2009

DeNoise turned out to be a rather busy evening for us but thought I'd go ahead and post two photos from the show. We came away with some great interviews. A kind thank you to Satomi Ito for lending us photos from her Flickr. There are plenty more photos there.

Astro collaborated with Kuruu Crew taking up synth and eventually nomadic vocal duties.

The Inpacacitants gravity was in effect with the tight circle that enclosed them immediately upon starting.


Posted by Vicente Gutierrez at 12:57 PM 0 comments  

Masaya Nakahara's Room at Vacant, until May 5th

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Last night, popped by the opening of a new space, Vacant, where film critic Masaya Nakahara aka Hair Stylistics (formerly Violent Onsen Geisha) was and will be screening selected films. Titled "Masaya Nakahara's Room," I believe its an on going series of screenings based on our brief conversation last night. I didn't get a chance to ask him what will be showing but we bookmarked an interview for the future and he was more than kind of enough to pass me a disc of some unreleased stuff from his previously finished subscription series of releases- can't wait to pop it in the player.

A few details of whats going this Golden week at Vacant:

May 4th -- Live
Yoshihide Otomo x Seiichi Yamamoto
Open 18:30/ Start 19:00 (schedule may change)
Fee: ¥2500 (advance), ¥3000 (same-day) + 1 drink

May 5th -- Live & DJ
Oorutaichi with YTAMO (from Urichipangoon), Takuma Watanabe x Muneomi Senju x Special Guest, Eiko Ishibashi with Muneomi Senju, Mao Yamasaki (Akichi Records)
Open 15:30/ Starrt 16:00
Fee: ¥2500 (advance), ¥3000 (same-day) + 1 drink

May 6th -- Live & Performance
Hasro & Bokka, Jun Takahashi x Kan Takagi x Fuyuki Yamakawa x Atsuhiro Ito
Open 17:30/ Start 18:00
Fee: ¥3500 (advance), ¥4000 (same-day) + 1 drink

Full info at Tokyo Art Beat:
Vacant Opening Event "Wrong Dance, Right Steps"
Venue: Vacant
Schedule: From 2009-05-01 To 2009-05-06

DeNoise April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

This Wednesday, we'll be heading out in full force to continue our chat with Atsuhiro Ito (Optrum) and Hiroshi Hasegawa in addition to capturing The Incapacitants' performance. Likely to be a rambunctuous evening full of (some first time) collaborations, performing live are:
Melt-Banana Lite
Kuruucrew + ASTRO
OFFSEASON (Atsuhiro Ito+HIKO+Kuropipe Stardust)
Overload Collapse (Nicolas Fasnacht & Nikola Mounoud from Switzerland)
Evil Moisture (a.k.a Andy Bolus from Paris, France)
TOKAGE (Yann Grivet from Switzerland).

Opens at 17:00, starts at 17:30. All the above for 2800円 (advance) or 3300円 (plus drink) at the door.

Posted by Vicente Gutierrez at 3:15 PM 2 comments  

Kikuri, Our Love Will Destroy The World, Tetragrammaton at Superdeluxe April 10, 2009.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A little over two weeks ago, we made it out to this show but running late, missed Muddy World's set although timely enough to catch Tetragrammaton (Myspace)- a quieter guitar and percussion based trio of Cal Lyall, TOMO and Nobunaga Ken.  While TOMO mostly relied on a soprano sax, a hurdy-gurdy gave the opening a Mediterranean-folk aesthetic, and along with Lyall applying a bow to his fretboard, set a brooding scene of orchestral drone. Eventual pick slides up distortion-charged strings began to pierce like a steel stringed violin and as the distant toms grew louder, riffs briefly appeared among the more short lived rhythmic episodes and premature build ups.

What brought the sense of centrality and cohesion to the unit was the eventual swelling from a series of cues-TOMO's monk-like chants, Nobunaga's tempered drum line and Lyall's bouts of frenetic guitar and nomadic fingerings.  In full measure, these appropriate cues summed to an abrupt and resonant end to Tetragrammaton’s performance.

This tour was centered around Campbell Kneale’s (formerly Birchville Cat Motel new project, Our Love Will Destroy the World. What marked Kneale’s performance was depth- the initial shimmering notes subsequently layered upon, the vocals set at a distance along with body movements which worked to contextualize the scope of the sounds produced.

That the vocals seemed low-level tracked wasn’t weakening but rather provided a platform for Kneale to expel his deepest screams. At one point well into the set, with arms out as wide as a pastor, staggering and belting out to the crowd, Kneale appeared euphorically enthralled- ebbing, flowing and swaying his limbs, at one point gripping the sides of the table and putting the microphone fully into his mouth. The over 40 minute set wound down with a bagpipe flute run through layers of delay before reaching ears. Well into those lighter notes, Kneale faded off into the distance, trailing off with his own monkish chanting until the only thing we could hear were heavy breaths.

Back when we interviewed Yamataka EYE, EYE referenced Merzbow as an earlier influence not so much musically but more so artistically.  EYE asked if I had ever seen Akita play drums and I briefly hesitated before answering because I didn’t even know Merzbow had a background in percussion.  After that, it became a distant anecdote and so towards the end of Kikuri, after Haino had played to a drum loop he programmed minutes before, Merzbow wandered back to the drum set and gave the performance a bit of an unexpected and rather folkloric turn.  While Merzbow largely improvised on the drum kit, an eventual and steady concreté build up sprouted as the most cohesive part of Kikuri’s set. Although, with full measures of power electronics and guitar, their performance was not limited to the facade their main instruments would suggest and as we saw, both musicians had an impressive number of tricks up their sleeves.

The familiarity with either member of Kikuri still fails to prevent my expectations from dissolving. With Haino eschewing pre-gig rehearsal with collaborators, one can never know what to expect. On this evening, the duo were more coherent and complimentary than one of those cataclysmic juxtapositions. From the start, Merzbow revved subtler bass tones that seemed elasticity tests while in the usual cross-legged pose, Haino reached for a 12 string guitar, abruptly entering with iron-wrangling notes over the digital hum. These surging drones became a launching pad for Haino’s lunar-bound adventures but soon enough, Merzbow’s motorcycle accelerations turned into heavier swirls that upped the tempo.  Haino momentarily abandoned his strumming for pick slides all the way up the neck in addition to harsh pulls and palm-massages of strings. Seated convulsion followed and Haino’s strum hand began to blur the naked eye.  Through an output of introverted howls and winds via Merzbow, the time eventually came for Haino to extend his arm to the mic for some stern syllabic yelping and heavy breathing.

While Haino synched up rhythmically, it was in that lull when Merzbow stood up and reached for his strumming apparatus- a rectangular halogen light casing with tightly coiled springs in the place of a bulb which he strums like a guitar. Just that there isn’t much strumming going on, rather scratching and rubbing with a hand held metallic puck.  Occasionally varied with wah and distortion pedals, it was in that treble storm that Haino stood up and went berzerk fighting some gravitational pull on his guitar.

Moving on to use his digital theremins, zipping and revving his hands to produce a new variety sounds and warped tones, Haino actually looked like a wizard casting a spell the way his hands locked. Haino then wandered back to the amp and pulled out a metallic disc of a small bag.

The contact mics picked up everything as he played it with a mini hammer, a bow as well as lettting it jangle and scrape against the floor. In the dark, dents from earlier bouts were visible. With Akita behind the drum set, Haino returned to his guitar, where things seemed to coalesce only to be brought to an end.

Ok, thats all for now.

Photos: Cameron McKean (B/W) and John Chandler (Color)
More on our Flickr set.

Hiroshi Hasegawa (Astro), live photos and a brief interview

Monday, March 30, 2009

The lack of posting could be a kind reflection of how hectic its been over here although, the film has pressed on and in the recent lull of posting we've actually been active at shows (Optrum, Hair Stylistics was properly exceptional) in addition to writing (Eye Yamataka interview in Dazed & Confused, Feb09), research and of course, editing footage into the darker (...and then brighter) hours of the day. Two weeks ago, one of our familiar faces, Hiroshi Hasegawa aka Astro collaborated with Batur Sonmez aka Analog Suicide from Istanbul Turkey at Shinjuku Urga. It was part of Lunatic Scope Volume 12, a line up which featured Bastard Noise, Defektro and Government Alpha.

Even though our cameraman couldn't make it at the last minute, we still followed through on Hasegawa's invitation. Afterwards, I had a nice albeit brief chat which we continued over email and so I'll post some words I translated from Hasegawa with some images to go along. We'll cut part 2 of our interview with Hasegawa-san in the near future and be sure to post a clip on our Youtube and Vimeo channels. In the meantime....

My attention was initially drawn to what seemed the latest addition to Hasegawa's fold up table- a mysterious retro-looking box and what appeared to be gold-coated paper. Hasegawa's set was centered around two metallic (about A4 size) sheets; shiny and paper thin. On where their role: "well, those metallic sheets, I had attached contact microphones which worked to pick up the friction and vibrations when I shook or slid the sheets against each other." In addition to the pedal set up below his table, Hasegawa was in true analog-form running the smaller contact microphones through a high voltage, all-tube analog annihilator; essentially the 'box' on the table which all eyes seemed to gravitate towards at one moment or another (I have a weblink if anyone wants to know). "Since my performance is based around my [analog, ed] synthesizer and effector set up, I'm somewhat limited to what extent I can move my body so these sheets gave me some more freedom not only in terms of sound but also movement."

We briefly went on to discuss collaborations and how the evening went with both Sonmez and Reiko A. While Astro was enthralled with the sheets (and the occasional reattaching of the contact mics), he commented, "of course, I think its important to not only hear, but also to be conscious of your collaborator's sounds- its very much like a regular sign that is read." Meanwhile, Reiko A's dance performance, punctuated with fixed stares, corpse-like poses on the floor as well as firmly locked ones via angular jukes, was familiar of the Butoh aesthetic in broader strokes. "Yeah, I've been playing together with Reiko for quite some time and so we I can really read her signalspretty well. From that gathered sense of communication, I've come to more fully realize the importance of her signs and movements. I can observe the movements Reiko makes, and while they are natural reactions, from my sounds, and she's expressing in a physical way, its like a language that gives me a more composite idea of what is happening during the performance."

All photos courtesy N. Yamamoto-Masson, 2009