Violent Onsen Geisha

Otis

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    8
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Violent Onsen Geisha, a one-man band consisting of cinema and music journalist Masaya Nakahara from Tokyo, is one of those musical entities that defy categorization. Otis offers up everything from brutal assaults of feedback noise in the realms of Merzbow and Masonna to a tacky Casio keyboard playing "Greensleeves" to collages of plunderphonic sound bites from movies and old records, mostly in English, to someone plunking amateurishly on a bass or a keyboard and mouthing tones or grunting. Covers of songs by Captain Beefheart and Joni Mitchell are virtually unrecognizable. One could compare Otis to Negativland with an industrial edge, or Ground Zero, or maybe even as a Japanese update to LAFMS (L.A. Free Music Society) bands like Le Forte Four, and still not quite get at the strange way Nakahara twists through his collages of sound, with strange segues and abrupt changes. Moving from one style to another in a schizophrenic haze, VOG's irreverent mishmash of junk culture ripped apart in a blender offers something similar to the early Boredoms. Confusing, repulsive, hilarious, and fascinating at the same time.