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Xinlisupreme - Tomorrow Never Comes [FatCat Records - 2002]

I dare to say that the Japanese duo Yasumi Okano and Takayuki Souji, known as Xinlisupreme, have just released one of the most interesting and fascinating guitar based records of this year already. They describe themselves as a "tender, strange, spiritual, violent band" and these words are indeed perfectly fitting for "Tomorrow Never Comes".

"Tomorrow Never Comes" is the debut full-length from Xinlisupreme, released through FatCat Records, who earlier released the 7" called "All You Need Is Love Was Not True". Musically speaking, it's pretty indescribable, but it feels like a radical assault on alternative rock music while insanely exploring the boundaries of IDM and noise. It starts violently with "Kyoro", where a simple punk rock rhythm transforms into a blistering set of harsh guitar feedback and ear-splitting noise à la Merzbow. But this is definitely not representative for the rest of the album, since this is one big experiment of combining different musical styles, unintentionally or not.

"Goodbye For All" is a rhythmic experimentation combined with thin ambient, while the 8 ½ minute long "All You Need Is Love Was Not True" has more similarities with a dreamy and moody pop song. However, the recognizable melodies that are used are performed so really unclear that the confusion in the mind of the listener will occur instantly. The perplexity even grows when the continuous juxtaposition between noise, guitars, strange beats and melodic parts actually works out just fine. Despite the violence incorporated in the sounds, "Tomorrow Never Comes" remains an above all very atmospheric, moody album. Sometimes totally inaudible texts ("Amaryllis") are used, but only sporadically, since Xinlisupreme continues to experiment with both enormous and minimal sounds during the whole album. "You Died In The Sea" and the untitled track for example, have more structured beats coming from the drum computer, leaning towards IDM and break beat, but keeping their unique sound.

The most impressive track on this disc is without doubt "Fatal Sisters Opened Umbrella". The droning guitars span more than 12 minutes, but somewhere between half of the song a little happy keyboard melody pops up, almost drowning the a wall of unquestionably Japanese noise. The 12th song, humorously called "Nameless Song", sounds like some jamming on traditional Japanese instruments, and again, combines this with harsh noise that makes you wonder why you thought Merzbow was violent. These two tracks also end the album, redefining the border between good music and something completely unlistenable in barely one hour.

Yes, this album grasps you by the throat but is nowhere near suffocating, at least not for me. It does more you’re your emotions than the average atmospheric guitar band, and certainly more than a noise act. "Tomorrow Never Comes" is unexpectedly unique, and marks the arrival of a new talented duo in the experimental music world.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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