Yoshihide Otomo

Sound Factory (1997)

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    8
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Consisting of two lengthy solo tracks with Yoshihide wielding turntables and hard disc recorder, Sound Factory (1997) finds him at his most unrelentingly brutal. Which is a wonderful thing to hear. The first piece, "DD," is a ferocious barrage of screaming, incendiary electronic noise, careening feedback, and subsonic groans paired with supersonic sine waves that threaten the integrity of one's eardrums. The assault continues for 20 minutes, a solo version of some of the more viscerally intense Ground Zero performances, like the beginning of Last Concert. Fans of that legendary band will savor this "small-scale" rendition. The remaining track, "HK," is a turntable extravaganza, objectively easier (slightly) on the ears but still jam-packed with information as Yoshihide skips and jumps at supersonic speeds, collaging every imaginable source into a sound sandwich overflowing at the sides. Interestingly, this perhaps represented a last look back at the sort of things he had been creating through the mid-'90s and would largely abandon henceforth, preferring to concentrate on more abstract, less referential music. The last minute or so, consisting of a high sine tone over a static-y background, pointed the way toward his next stage. Sound Factory (1997) is a strong work for those with reinforced ears.