Sporadic Spectra

Government Alpha

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Sporadic Spectra Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Noise -- roaring, lethal noise, the kind that would instantly devour you if it could overcome its soundwave state to take a more material form -- is what Government Alpha does. This Japanese unit is at the extreme end of the Japanoise spectrum, beyond Merzbow, Masonna, Hijokaidan, and all the others. Their music is brutal, merciless, in your face. Subtlety? None. Breather? None. The second a track ends, the next one kicks in, eager to disappoint your yearning for a pause. The second piece is titled "Eroded Meninges," two words that very aptly describe the listener's state after a full hour of this shock treatment ("eroded eardrums" would also fit the description). The origins of the noises become irrelevant. There are guitars and electronics, and tons of signal overload. The massive onslaught becomes physical; it hits you, you can feel the air vibrate around you. Trying to distinguish between the nine tracks on this CD makes no sense. They are as many manifestations of the same entity -- and this album is the same as any other Government Alpha artifact, with two major exceptions: it sounds very good in terms of production (yes, it matters at least a bit even in this case) and is the group's most widely accessible in the Western world, as it came out on the Californian label Ground Fault. Consistently loud noise is not very different from quiet drones. It can channel a state of hypnosis or bliss. Sporadic Spectra is the ultimate cleanser of the soul, it gets rid of all thoughts, plus nasty pop music stains in the inner ear, and encrusted party guests. Nevertheless, it remains an extreme solution and should be used with caution.

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