Koji Asano


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Momentum follows up Koji Asano's 1999 Avalanches release with more feedback studies. This time, he is not interested in the wails that microphone-loudspeaker loops produce, but rather the speaker's heartbeat. He placed microphones inside the woofers of two loudspeakers. The air pressure, the beating membranes, and the actual wails constitute the sonic material (all strongly amplified) of the three extended pieces heard here. Adding the clicks of the contact microphones to the low growls of the beasts produces a surprisingly organic, living sound. It is unpredictable; it has a mind of its own. Where Xavier Charles had found a way to transform the naked speaker into a percussion instrument by placing small objects and contact microphones on its vibrating membrane, Asano reveals its soul (so to speak). The artist displays a lot of invention, getting as much variety in sounds, textures, and dynamics as one possibly can extract from this setup. Nevertheless, the material is limited and gets tiresome after 30 minutes, but the idea is good and the listening experience striking. Not downright headache-inducing like Avalanches, this CD still sounds as rough-edged as the concrete walls pictured on the cover.

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