Nerve Net Noise | Various Amusements

Hronir | CD

Japanese electronic-noise duo H. Kumakiri and Tagomago, or Nerve Net Noise, might be likened to Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen. Eschewing off-the-shelf equipment they prefer to work with custom-built synthesisers which feature titles like 'System Rouge' and 'System Blue' [cf. http://www5.big.or.jp/~triptrap/f1/nnn.html]. The similarities end there however. Where Pan Sonic favour "a wide range of flowing, atmospheric sounds and rhythms" [Mute], NNN favour a narrow range of disjointed, static-laden microtones and stuttering pu l s e s.

Operating around the fuzzier edges of sinewave simplicity NNN's sonic amusements often play at the slighter end of the volume axis, but their constructions are all the richer for it. From 'Various Amusements' stuttering opening, NNN crush and pulverise sine waves into an incredibly rich amalgam of pulsating static.

'Cooking' erupts with cascading micro-rhythms, layered and folded to create a dense mix which unwinds over the course of fifteen glorious minutes. 'Swimming' meanwhile sees a shift towards a slower series of rhythmic macro-pulses which exist - nothing more - for a five minute duration before cutting to the sub-cranial sinewaves of 'Makeup', undoubtedly 'Various Amusements' high point.

Comprising a five minute wavering sinewave, 'Makeup' has the curious tendency to filter the surrounding environmental noise like a fine mesh sifting glistening particles of gold from silt. While listening to it on headphones, even the act of typing was spatially expanded to adopt an unexpected role as arbitrary percussion.

'Makeup', at various stages, revealed/hid: pop tunes on an adjacent radio, ravaged by violent surface static; nearby conversation, muffled as if phased through a broken vocoder; and heightened ambient noise: a fire engine, sirens wailing, as if struggling to navigate through glue...

[CM]



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