Guilty Connector & Agencement

Sort of like the new and the old here, covering the present and the past of noise artists, except that neither here is what I’d truly call “noise”. The rather different approaches, nonetheless, make it difficult to claim to be making any deep connections in this post. Simply a convenient and interesting combination, is all.

Guilty Connector, aka Kohei the Fast, is best known for being one of the most intense noise artists currently working in Japan. On his own Utsu Tapes label, and others, he’s released a series of very impressive noise works. On the Henro Pilgrimage CD-R, though, he collected field recordings from the 88 temples of Shikoku island, hence the subtitle “Soundscape of the Shikoku 88 temples.” Divided into numerous short tracks, the CD-R ranges from pastoral sounds of wind and birds to mysteriously dense and somewhat unidentifiable sounds. Interestingly, the CD-R also requests “Please make good music using this sound materials and send it to Utsu tapes.” Visit his site for the latest news about Guilty Connector and Utsu Tapes.

Listen to a sample track from Henro Pilgrimage

Going back in time somewhat, we visit the shadowy presence known as Agencement, one Hideaki Shimada. In the late 80s and early 90s, Shimada released a handful of utterly unique and rather hypnotic albums as Agencement. Using primarily violin with tapes and electronics, he crafted a beguiling soundscape style that was never quite ambient — too disturbing and distracting — but also never “noise” in the strict sense. It’s impossible to think of anyone else who sounds like Agencement, which makes it doubly a shame that few people know the name, let alone have heard the work. Everything I’ve come across by Agencement was released by Shimada’s own Pico label, which never had any real distribution anywhere. As near as I can tell, he released his third album, Viosphere in 1991, Boxe Consonantique in 2001, and nothing in-between or since. Perhaps someday someone will reissue some of this great ur-drone music.

Listen to an excerpt from “Pt.1” from Viosphere

~ by masonoise on April 26, 2008.

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