Various Artists

Chiky(u)u

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The first release in the Ash International triptych that also includes Scatter and Decay, Chiky(u)u (Mother Earth) is a compilation of Japanese noise artists, and all material on the album is either gathered from the earth (stones, water, etc.) or activity resulting from movement in the earth. Some of the pieces have obvious elemental sources, such as the howling winds and crashing waves of Hatohan's "Eldorado or Digital Narcis proprietor Koji Marutani's "Scenes 4" (which was made from field recordings in MinĂ´ National Park in Osaka). Other pieces have more subtle origins. The liner notes mention that Tamaru's "Water Margin" was created by attaching electrodes to the bank of the Arakawa River, but otherwise the listener is free to connect the sounds with the earth in his or her own fashion. "Low Capacitance" is composed of tiny sounds, rustles, and scrapes. Tokyo noise artist MSBR's two pieces sound like rushing water, and "Hollow Ground" is an exercise for the sound system's woofers as it roars and crashes. Aube's piece is not as loud as much of his work, but has sonar-like aquatic echoes resonating with low drones and wooden wind chimes. Akira Yamamichi, who participated in Dumb Type with Ryoji Ikeda, contributes five short quiet drone field recordings. Tak++'s "Listening Point" approaches the clicks and pulses of groups like Pan Sonic, static clicks that almost approach a techno-like rhythm before becoming obscured by noise bursts. There are several hidden tracks on this album as well. In addition to the earthquake that can only be heard by rewinding the CD from the beginning, there are 87 short tracks at the end, most of which are abrasive pulses or silent.

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