The membership of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground Zero increased with each new project, and for the their third album, Revolutionary Pekinese Opera, the core of the band is still only comprised of six members (although there are several guests on various tracks). The bulk of the noise comes from Yoshihide's turntables, which play a greater role here than on the later GZ projects. Revolutionary Pekinese Opera was a reinterpretation of a work by Heiner Goebbels and Alfred 23 Harth, two German musicians who were involved in the early progressive rock movement, and who created a work sampling a revolutionary Chinese opera in 1984. Yoshihide uses this work as a source and as an inspiration, but the samples used here cover not only Goebbels and Harth's original work, but also martial arts movies, commercials, political speeches (including Ronald Reagan's quarter-dime-penny speech), telephones, and telephone conversations, and Western classical music. The various members of Ground Zero also get some solo spots on this album. One of Yoshihide's best guitar solos is featured in "Paraiso 1," and the percussionists (including the shamisen, which will become a full-time instrument in Consume Red) get a workout in "Opening" and "Crossing Snow Mountains." But the highlights of this album are Yoshihide's virtuosic turntables and the beginnings of a concerted assault on copyright and sampling, which would be taken to an extreme in the Consume Red project a year later. This is also the first album with sampler artist Sachiko M, who has become Yoshihide's primary partner in many of his post-Ground Zero projects.
AllMusic Review by Caleb Deupree