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 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

Paal Nilssen-Love - New Japanese Noise [PLN Records - 2019]

New Japanese Noise brings together respected Norwegian bandleader/ drummer Paal Nilssen-Love with a selection of key Japnoise figures Toshiji Mikawa (Incapacitants) & Kohei Gomi (Pain Jerk)- with the line-up been topped off by Japanese free jazz legend Akira Sakata, and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci. All to offer up a decidedly seared- yet- playful record that putts between often thick free jazz, harsh noise, and blends of the two.

The five-track album appears in the form of a CD- this takes in a glossy red & black themed thick card mini-LP sleeve. Featuring inside it's gatefold  pictures of the five musicians involved in the release, in full live form- as this release takes in a recording from 2018 Roskilde festival in Denmark.

So sonic line up wise we have Akira Sakata- alto saxophone, Bb clarinet, & voice. Kiko Dinucci-electric guitar. Kohei Gomi- electronics. Paal Nilssen-Love drums.Toshiji Mikawa- electronics.  All of whom give a great 'n' taunt performance.


The album begins in a truly searing & intense manner with the just under ten & half minutes of “Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves”- this brings together a colliding sonic storm of rapid screaming & baying horn work, brutally battering cymbal work, smarting & racing guitar work, and caustically spurting electronics.   If you were in the least bit drowsy or sleepy, this is the type of track to slap you awake, then slam dance on your head with it's searing & dense rage- which sits somewhere between squealing thick jazz noise & face-slamming hardcore.

By track three we’ve moved onto the longest track here “Eats, Shites, and Leaves”- this begins in a surprisingly playful & pared back state, with whimsical horn weaves and shifting-yet-subtle noise texturing. It’s not until around the four & half minute mark things start to build-up & turn nasty- as the horn work gets more jittering & nervy, slices of buzzing guitar work flit, and the drums start to mark a skittering beat. By the 7th minute, this wavering haze of elector noise is added in, and we get more jagged & pronounced crunchy noise drag sustains & sour high pitched sweeps. The players really nicely build the tension & denseness of this track in a most effective manner, at first trying to enchant you, then slowly but surely pull you deeper & deeper into a growing raging maelstrom of sound.

Track four is the wonderfully titled “The Bone People”- this is built around spitting ‘n’ ranting male Japanese voice( I’m presuming Akira Sakata)- tight-yet-sparse drum hits &  smashes, sudden sears of noise texturing, scrubbing elastic band like guitar work- which at times turns angularly funky. Once again the track begins relatively open & pared back, but from the off there’s a real feeling of tension- and this nicely build & builds, as if your heads been tightened in a machine shop vice- as the players pour in more high pitched tones, smashing percussion, and the voices gets even more deranged & ranting- the players must have been damn spent by the end of this nearing ten minute twenty track.

New Japanese Noise does pretty much what it says on the box- it takes & vigorously blends Japnoise with seared avant jazz into an urgent & roasting brew. Certainly, a release for those who dig the likes of Borbetomagus, or the collaborative releases Wolf Eyes did with the likes of  Anthony Braxton, or similar jazz/ noise crossbreeds.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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