A 3" release from Otomo Yoshihide, Digital Tranquilizer follows up his continued interest in sampling, and in particular his 1997 release Vinyl Tranquilizer. Stylistically in the same realm as his group work in Filament, it even samples some of his Filament bandmate Sachiko M. on the first track. A few of the tracks are comparable both to Ryoji Ikeda's noisiest work (especially "DT-2") and to his recurring pitch layers in varying rhythms (as in "DT-5"). The opening track recalls Ikeda as well, with fast rhythms and loud, piercing sine waves alternating between the channels, but the harsher sounds mark the release as Otomo's own. "DT-2" is composed of dense and rapid deconstructions of a wide variety of material, very similar to Ikeda's O°C release. "DT-3" through "DT-5" are all drone-based pieces. "DT-3" is a high-pitched, thin drone with very high twittering overtones, almost melodic with repeating fragments. "DT-4's drone is more piercing and louder, and "DT-5" piles up fragmentary and static rhythms on top of an increasingly cloudy background. The release concludes with seven hidden four-second tracks, only the last of which has any sound, a sudden noisy burst to bring the listener out of a reverie. This CD, although very short in duration, is an excellent marker for Otomo's post-Ground Zero interests, and shows his growth from the early Filament releases to the accomplishments of his post-sampling group work on Cathode.
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AllMusic Review by Caleb Deupree