Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Hisegawa-Shizuo - Lift [Utech Records - 2010]

In the brief poem in the booklet that accompanies Hisegawa-Shizuo’s Lift, we are introduced to an anonymous narrator who attempts to capture early sunrise in a hat – or so I interpret it -  and finds himself successful – “perfect”, he mutters, before the poem unwinds into outright, abstract strangeness. As much as this surrealistic scene presents an all-out impossibility paired with downright absurdity, its surreal, imaginative grasp is certainly intriguing and strangely befitting of the musical work itself. 

On Lift, the duo of Hisegawa-Shizuo lay down a wholly improvised work running just over 40 minutes, presented in all its rough, unedited completeness. It’s a very sparse work, comprised mainly of wood block clicks and clacks, and pitch-shifting synth (I’ll assume – there’s no mention of instruments in the liner notes). As is, it seems rather a-typical of the musicians’ previous musical ventures. Hirotomo Hasegawa has, since the early eighties, been the lead singer for Japanese punk rockers Aburadako, while Shizuo Uchida – less a-typically, perhaps – was part of Nijiumu, an experimental drone outfit headed by Keiji Haino, key member of the Japanese avant-garde scene. 

These qualifications raise some expectations – however, those who think they’re in for a particularly inaccessible ruckus should think twice. As said, Lift is sparse – amazingly sparse. In between the whirs and the muted percussion, stretches of silence drift on and on. Even then, the instrumentation is subdued – seemingly drifting in from a distance, making the whole thing appear almost accidental. Not so much accidental music as accidental recording – Lift seems not to’ve been made for the ears of an audience. It’s intimate, introverted and very personal – a musical statement that betrays more of the musicians than you would deem possible – or comfortable.

As Lift unfolds, it builds from a matter-of-factly sound stream to a much more haunting and eerie piece. The percussion increasingly gains life, echo and resonance, while the whirs become increasingly gritty and unsettling. Much like the poem, Lift initially establishes itself as plain and slightly askew, and, at all times, almost inviting – but then takes an unexpected left turn somewhere, and you’re lost, wondering what went wrong where, and how exactly you ended up there. Inevitably, it feels like a descent into madness, a very personal madness – a frightening insight into the wicked mental workings of Hasegawa-Shizuo. As the piece reaches its conclusion, there’s a shimmer of light in the inevitable silence that drones on, just inside or outside the piece – you’re not sure - just outside of grasp for everyone except the duo themselves.

Lift is a remarkably achieved work, completely improvised but with a clear and admirable sense of direction, a subdued crescendo with no clear climax, leaving the piece satisfyingly unresolved. A frighteningly beautiful album that is recommended to anyone who is looking for a captivating sonic experience beyond their regular experimental fare.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Sven Klippel
Latest Reviews

Hisegawa-Shizuo - Lift
In the brief poem in the booklet that accompanies Hisegawa-Shizuo’s Lift, we are introduced to an anonymous narrator who attempts to capture early sunrise in...
011222   Colossloth - Promethean Meat
011222   Maschinenzimmer 412 - Macht D...
011222   Orders To Kill - Orders To Ki...
011222   Jesper Nordin - Vicinities
011222   Satan’s Little Helper - Satan...
011222   The Son Of The Devil - The S...
301122   Black Candles - Black Candles...
291122   .Nightmare Symphony - Nightma...
281122   There Was A Fish In The Perco...
281122   Planet Shithead/Dosis Letalis...
Latest Articles

Hastings of Malawi - Deliriously ...
Formed in the early 1980s, after the member's sonic dabbling’s on the early Nurse With Wound records, Hastings Of Malawi took a decidedly busy and deta...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
230322   The Residents - Fifty Years ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom