Toshimaru Nakamura

No-Input Mixing Board

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As the title indicates, Toshimaru Nakamura's instrument of choice is a mixing board sans input. By connecting the output cables of the board to the input jacks, waves of feedback are created. Nakamura, with great subtlety, controls these whines, clicks, and wails and creates abstract structures of great beauty and almost tensile strength, often resolving into looping, off-kilter rhythms. Formerly a guitarist, he expressed the desire to move away from any sense of traditional "feeling" in his music and there is a certain alien quality to the pieces here, a thrumming that might seem to owe more to the interaction of galvanized metals than to human thought. But, of course, the human behind it comes through and one of the things the listener experiences is the presence of a probing mind. One's ears conjure up all sorts of "natural" sound analogies to what is actually coming through the speakers: tibetan horn choirs, meshing gears, windswept alleys -- it's all extremely evocative despite its superficially scaled down and "empty" source. Part of the magic wrought by Nakamura (shown perhaps to even greater effect in his duo with Sachiko M., Do on Erstwhile) is the ability to conjure up a rich, hitherto unknown world of sound from such an apparently barren fount. He is one of the leaders of the Onkyo scene in Japan and No-Input Mixing Board shows him at his purest and most clear. For listeners interested in exploring the frontiers of electronic music, this is a very fine recording.