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Jah Excretion - On The Road [Somnolent Shelter Records - 2011]

Jah Excretion is a relatively new harsh noise artist from Japan. It's always a pleasure to find new material coming out of  Japan-  as generally the country creates some of the best and most  rewarding harsh noise around. I’d heard a few tracks in the past by Jah Excretion- so when this album came through I was already quite curious about the project.

The excellent black and white artwork features a mixture of pictures of people smoking pot, marijuana leaves and the typical jungle of cables and microphones that is a harsh noise live set. Marijuana abuse is a very odd thematic for this kind of music and I think it doesn't really fit with the sounds presented on this "On The Road" CDr, but who cares: noise is the only thing that matters!

First track "Trip At High Speed Chaos Train" is very energetic and powerful traditional harsh noise in the vein of Incapacitants. The rhythmic and pounding sampling of Merzbow or Pain Jerk is put aside, and Mr. Iwasaki prefers to deliver a constant and violent flow of static noise and contact microphone abuse, swooshing sounds and piercing synth, almost wallish in its bulky mass. Some sounds are a bit too "laser-like" for my taste but otherwise it's a very solid track that perfectly embodies its title.

The Second track "On The Road" came a bit as a surprise. It's a creepy, bizarre and dissonant mix of dark ambient windy synth, distant and delayed unrecognizable sound and repetitive slow ragga beats. It's a bit reminiscent of some Scorn tracks, maybe mixed with the dull repetition of The Gerogerigegege's wanking + drum machine sessions, and it comes totally unexpected after an eleven-minutes track of blasting harsh noise. "On the Road" is an interesting track, it's pretty well made and it lends our ears a bit of breathing space. The ragga/dub + noise mix has been explored before by Facialmess, but this goes a step beyond. Weird!

The Third and final track "More High Speed In Train" is indeed more of the same devastating noise the album started with. Again a big chunk of pure and simple Japanese harsh noise, way more crude and stripped down to the basics than most of the material coming from the masters of the genre, but I got nothing to complain about this track.

In conclusion "On The Road" is a pretty good album, and the freshness of Jah Excretion's harsh noise mixed with the bizarre and calm title track makes it a valid addition to any noise head’s collection: of course I especially recommend it to fans of Japanese harsh noise. As for myself, I can't wait to listen to new noise from this project.

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

Nicola Vinciguerra
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