For the two-CD set Live in Tokyo, Chris Cutler's record label ReR Megacorp put together an interesting farewell concept. Disc one presents a concert by Cassiber recorded in Tokyo on October 23, 1992. It was the trio's first and only visit to the Land of the Rising Sun and turned out to be one of its last performances; after a couple more shows, two months later, the group put an end to its 10-year existence. For this evening, Christoph Anders (vocals, sampler), Heiner Goebbels (keyboards, sampler) and Cutler (drums) had invited saxophonist Shinoda Masami to join them -- he died a few weeks later. On disc two, Otomo Yoshihide sampled, treated, added, remixed, and recomposed the tapes of the show with the help of his usual Ground-Zero colleagues, plus members of Hoahio. He decided to release the project under the name Ground-Zero, thus making it the final completed album (chronologically) from this seminal avant-garde group. As necrological as it may sound, Live in Tokyo is very alive. The Cassiber performance captures the group in peak form. Most of the material comes from their last studio album A Face We All Know, but also includes forays in their three previous titles. Masami's contribution on the Bach-derived "O Cure Me" and "Our Colourful Culture" matches Arthur 23 Harth's original recordings on Man or Monkey. The Ground-Zero disc pushes the same sound material into a different direction, surprisingly ambient on "Across the Sky #1." Here the music hints more at Yoshihide's future projects (like I.S.O.) than at Cassiber's repertoire. "O Cure Me," "Gut," and the first half of "Across the Sky #3" feature more recognizable segments of the concert, while the latter's second half turns into one last typical Ground-Zero jam. Fans of either groups will want this document.
AllMusic Review by François Couture
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2