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Suzuki Junzo - Eight-Sided Infinity [Plunks Plan - 2012]

Guitarist Suzuki Junzo creates intense, abstract and unstructured freeform kraut rock or noise rock that is essentially similar to groups like Acid Mothers Temple, sounding a bit like the "Feedback" movement of Grateful Dead's "Live/Dead" stretched to album length, discarding all the conventional rock elements except an aching blues tonality.

Compared to his "Ode to a Blue Ghost" album (recently re-issued on Utech Records), "Eight-Sided Infinity" is a great deal less minimal and restrained, more of a jam than a composition with forethought behind it.  The feeling is more positive, as well, a kind of beatific union with all things, and I find this to be a wamer and more easily listenable record.

The title track is a chugging surge of distortion that speeds up and slows down according to the whims of the psychedelic energy currents.  This piece has a heavier feel than the others due to Junzo's inclusion of a drummer.  For 15 minutes, Junzo rides into the infinite on a power chord periodically engulfed by stormy feedback squalls.  In the last few minutes, he dwells maliciously long on a dissonant, atonal chord until the piece finally dissolves itself into an abrasive scattering of drumset fills and shrieking amplifier resonance.  Intense staccato whispers from Junzo punctuate the subliminal rhythmic structure.

Both of the other two pieces opt for a sparser and slower ambient approach, with no drums to speak of.  "Pouring High Water Blues Dead" is one for the desolate plains, a sparse collection of Western tinged guitar licks which echoes into a swirling emptiness.  The piece later swells with crackling, quavering and rustic E-bow tones that accentuate the underlying minor chord.

The closing track, "Electric Funeral Parade of the Roses", occupies the record's entire B side at 23:48, and is the most spacious of all.  Echoing amplifier hum comprises the first several minutes of the piece.  Junzo steadily but very gradually amasses energy, twisting the feedback into increasingly shadowy and dissonant shapes.  A couple bluesy wails penetrate the gloom, but they are without grounding, adrift in the noise.  Junzo's gasping voice can be heard in the background, engaged rhythmic, moaning chants, drawing in extradimensional presences.

I would recommend this album to anyone open to freeform psychedelic jamming and guitar noise.  "Eight-Sided Infinity" is a pleasure to listen to, and shows that Suzuki Junzo is consistently capable of creating powerful and emotional sounds that are immersive and engaging.

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

Josh Landry
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