Violent Onsen Geisha

U.S. Tour '95

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This documents Violent Onsen Geisha's first tour to the U.S., collaborating with several American avant-rock artists, including Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Masaya Nakahara, the man behind Violent Onsen Geisha, is more of a tape experimentalist than an actual musician, and he gets a little lost on these improvisations. The Smegma set, recorded at Portland, OR's venerable Satyracon, especially sounds far more like Smegma than VOG, not too different from a normal live Smegma outing, heavy experimental improvised rock. On both this and the Truman's Water piece, recorded that same night, Nakahara's main role seems to be to scream incoherently while the band plods along aimlessly, only occasionally adding in other noises from keyboards or tapes. The duo with Moore, recorded a few days later at the famous Knitting Factory, comes off a little better, as Moore's atonal guitar screes blend with Nakahara's electronic noises quite effectively. Still, it's not as effective as the studio albums, where part of the fun is the way Nakahara quilts together disparate elements with bizarre, disconcerting segues. The fact that the sound is a little muddy doesn't help either.