The End of August, Koji Asano's 22nd release, featured a piano melody and a melancholy, strongly human mood. It seems listeners had to pay for that, since his 23rd album, A Second Dam, features 68 minutes of high-pitched electrical tones. Do avant-garde music lovers have a masochistic temper? Of course they do, but they also all have their limits and this album will cross pretty much everyone's. A single tone keeps going for over an hour, with its pitch regularly changed and filtered differently. Still, this is Asano's most minimal, limited, flavorless work, even more so than Quoted Landscape. It's art, sure, and you can loose yourself in this high-pitched drone, but the artist's already-limited audience shrinks to a dot in this case. The dam in the title holds all the sonic material; it lets only the tiniest trickle escape. While The End of August was his most appealing CD for a more general (but still "enlightened") public, this one will hold interest only to the collector, the dedicated fan, or the sado-masochist looking for new tools.
AllMusic Review by François Couture