Avalanches could be subtitled "a study in feedback." It is a 69-minute-long feedback piece, probably produced by moving a couple of microphones in front of an amplifier. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Well, you'd be surprised. Of course, to appreciate this album requires an adventurous listener, one who is willing to take a certain level of punishment, one who has the ability to adjust his listening to the music he is presented with (and not the other way around). After the initial shock and the realization that this is and will remain feedback for the duration of the piece, the ear adjusts and perceives the variations in sound, the hues the artist squeezes out of his crude setting. This is an experiment in perception. Asano has recorded the piece from a distance to capture the acoustics of the room, the resonance of the objects happening to be inside it. It's conceptual art, an artistic statement solely through its thought-provoking existence. The artwork and title are not gratuitous, either. The photographs are of rooftops. The TV antennas evoke the reception of airwaves -- a suitable image for the music inside. Furthermore, the chimneys resemble tiny minarets. Imagine these feedback noises being broadcasted from such towers across Arabian cities and deserts. Now think of the title Avalanches and the impact these sounds would have on snow-covered mountains. As always, Asano delivers more than what a narrow description could reveal.
by François Couture