Those who are familiar with Koji Asano's sound art albums of the early '00s will fall off their chairs upon hearing Gravity. But put back in the context of the composer's first albums, this experimental rock power trio session only exemplifies the man's versatility and his quest for a musical identity to call his own. Recorded with Hisao Otake on organ combo and Hisashi Nagata on drums, this third opus features Asano on electric guitar. The compositions are actually themes and riffs tied together by loosely specified improvisational spaces. Somewhere between surf and hardcore, the music alternately evokes Keiji Haino's Fushitsusha, Steamboat Switzerland, Stefan Wittwer, neo-psychedelic rock (like Jackie-O Motherfucker, for instance), and the Ventures. Asano turns out to be a very decent guitarist, capable of laying down searing solos, improvising Derek Bailey-style, and playing with feedback (in most of the 15-minute "Tj"). Otake is not always as tight as one would like him to be (he stumbles a bit in "Ln"), but Nagata manages to do very interesting things with his limited instrument (a cheap compact electric organ). The whole project irradiates something delightfully cheesy (as announced by the cover artwork -- a variation on the staircase in Alfred Hitchcock's movie Vertigo). Asano will hardly ever rock this hard, but it's good to know he can; it adds yet another dimension to this multifaceted artist. And at the end of the day, Gravity simply stands as a strong, enjoyable album of improvised rock. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by François Couture