Hair Stylistics - Power Electronics Convention [Ultra Eczema - 2011]Hair Stylistics is Masaya Nakahara's follow-up to his legendary Violent Onsen Geisha unit. The project started in mid-nineties if I'm not mistaken, and in the last few years he has been very active despite the fact that most of his releases haven’t left the Japanese borders. "Hustler Power Electronics Convention" LP released by Belgian label Ultra Eczema is a good chance for us westerners to easily get top notch material by one of the best and weirdest Japanese noise acts.
Since the very start both Violent Onsen Geisha and Hair Stylistics were more about tape/vinyl fuckery, humour, collage mess, retarded sounds and the likes than straight aggressive noise, and this recent work makes no exception. There are brilliant titles here like "Nihil Young On The Bitch", "If You Be My Ball" or "Living Without Shit", and each contains a big, joyful mess of a thousand sounds, heavy on tape manipulation and annoyance. Mr. Nakahara is a master of the craft and each piece, while being batshit crazy and silly, is a very distinct composition with a proper "shape".
The sound here is never too distorted or nasty, but its plain weirdness and redundancy make it hard to bear at times - which is of course a great thing. That being said, the constant analogue grain of this record is a total pleasure for the fetish-ized noise ear, especially because it's coming from vinyl. Sometimes "Hustler Power Electronics Convention" distantly resembles the early power electronics mentioned in its title while some bits are very close to early academic electronics experiments; there's a very good variation and close to no chance to get bored, even for someone who is not into noise music.
Add in a weird obsession with Paris Hilton creeping through the album's artwork and the fact that apparently the deal between label and artist happened mostly through sign language and you get some of the best Hair Stylistics material I ever listened to. I know this doesn't mean much, as Nakahara released something like forty CDrs just in 2010/2011, but this record is extremely well done, between challenging and easy listening, and most of all it's FUN, which is a rare thing in noise. I strongly suggest "Hustler Power Electronics" to everybody, from bored middle-aged housewives and grandparents with Alzheimer to firemen and astronauts.Nicola Vinciguerra