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Album Review

Filament is the new project of two ex-Ground Zero players, turntablist Otomo Yoshihide and sampler Sachiko M. It couldn't be less like Ground Zero's freewheeling sonic bricolage, which is a reason for one to trust Yoshihide's aesthetic vision. Filament is an attempt to push experimental music in a new direction — to open a new field for the 21st century. And as such an attempt, it's mostly successful. Yoshihide and Sachiko M. perform a type of post-sampling music composed from live generated sines and mechanical clicks and drones that are run through no effects or post-production. On this, their first CD put out on the Australian Xtreme label, they offer a range of compositions, from barely audible 20-second hums to longer, more involved works. The quietness of the music really makes you aware of your surroundings — you'll begin to hear sounds in the background of your everyday environment that you had no idea were there. While the music does make greater claims, this is its most immediate payoff. The album is interesting to listen to as a critique of the clicks + cuts genre as well as a response to the new minimalism of people like Bernhard Günter. It is also an extension of Yoshihide's aesthetic beyond "experimental turntablism" into a new engagement with sound, one that privileges improvisation, meditative absence of self-consciousness, and neo-Luddite technical requirements. This is a good introduction, but one suspects they're better live, so you might want to check out their release on the Amoebic label.

Biography

Born: 01 August 1959 in Yokohama, Japan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Improvisational guitarist, turntablist and composer Otomo Yoshihide was born August 1, 1959 in Yokohama, Japan; the son of an engineer, as a child he built his own radio and electronic oscillator, and as a teen began creating sound collages by means of open-reel tape recorders. During high school, Yoshihide performed in a local rock band before moving on to free jazz, influenced primarily by saxophonist Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi; while a university student, he also became fascinated...
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