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K.K. Null - Edging [Nux Organization - 2013]

As Iíve gotten older and wiser Iíve come to recognize several immutable truths about our lives and universe: everyday the sun rises and falls, somewhere in the world there is a child being born at this very moment, and with most glaring regularity...I will always find a K.K. Null release in my review pile. On this outing the Nux Organization presents another long form CD entitled Edging.

K.K. Null, a.k.a. Kazuyuki Kishino, is likely most known for his work in the legendary noise rock group Zeni Geva, however Iím more familiar with his solo noiseworks and collaborations with artists such as: Merzbow, The Noiser, and Matmos. Unlike some of his Japanoise peers who focus on relentless harsh noise mayhem, Null manages to seamlessly marry the best aspects of techno and rave music with harsh electronics. This marriage of sounds would appear to come full circle on Edging, which happens to be the soundtrack to a dance theatre piece choreographed by Guillaume Marie. However, in the realm of experimental music, things arenít always what they seem.

Edging is one long track (running 53:10), which isnít unusual for this artist. What is surprising is just how restrained this album is. Itís quite a departure from previous releases Iíve devoured from Null. Throughout the album youíll find pockets of near silence, the only perceptible sound being small electronic chirps or the quiet sounds of water dripping. Thatís not the whole album by any stretch of the imagination, just a noticeable feature of this 53 minute opus. When thereís not moments of extended bliss, youíll hear: extended sequences of repetitive, buzzing keys, water running/dripping, birds chirping, whirring and grinding electronic gears, laser-like synth blasts, with a midsection that achieves noisy density. It does get dancier and noisier towards trackís end with a sequence that sounds strikingly similar to the intro Nine Inch Nailsí ďHead Like a Hole.Ē The whole affair unfolds in measured sequences, with some sections being real sparse and somber and others being real active and violent in delivery. Itís a real varied palette of sounds that Null weaves, all delivered with restraint and tension building.

Having not seen the actual theatrical piece that this soundtrack accompanies perhaps puts me at a disadvantage in drawing final conclusions, but just based on the sounds alone I enjoyed this very much. I dare say that this might be my favorite piece of Nullís that Iíve heard thus far. So that said, my only gripe (and itís a minor one) is that it wouldíve been cool to include a DVD of the performance to accompany the CD. Itíd be interesting to see how the dancers interpreted Nullís sounds and vice versa.

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

Hal Harmon
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