Loud in Japan - From This Week's Blurt in the SD Reader Jay Allen Sanford
This collaboration was born at the UFO Club in Tokyo,” says Bruce McKenzie, one half of the local experimental duo Buzz or Howl. “We met famed Japanese psych-noise artist Astro through a mutual friend.… The music Astro took home that night was by Buzz or Howl, and plans were hatched to combine forces with him somehow.”
The collaboration, Western Mystery School, was released this month on Lotushouse Records. Astro — aka Hiroshi Hasegawa — is best known for his stint with C.C.C.C., alongside occasional bondage porn star Mayuko Hino, notorious for throwing plastic bags of urine at audiences.
“She performed with Hiroshi when we played with them at the UFO Club in Tokyo in 2005,” says Buzz or Howl’s Eric Nielsen. “She quietly did her thing while the loudest sounds I have ever heard emanated from the stage. The whole room shook, the support beams shook, the bathroom shook, and the sound man had to fan the board with his Japanese fan, wearing his wooden sandals.…
“The key components of psych-noise,” explains Nielsen, “are freedom of volume and composition. It’s an emotive attack on your whole body with volume, so loud that it’s not uncommon to have an out-of-body experience in a swirling cloud of intense volume.…
“Once, in western Japan, I was at a show that was so loud I had to lift my shoulders to my ears. I was in terrible pain, but it was impolite to get up and leave. After about 15 minutes, I completely forgot about the music, relaxed, and went into deep contemplation.”