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Here’s one for the free music lovers and those who want to freak out their friends and neighbours. Guitarist Fukuoka Rinji and saxophonist Urabe Masayoshi have collected a series of recordings made in 2004 around Europe and Japan for a single brain-melting disc of skronky free expression and, on ‘A Gust Of Wind’, surprisingly tender folkiness. The LP begins in near-silence before the noise attack of ‘Monsieur Merci’ begins in earnest, with Norman staffers protesting for their ears or simply leaving the room in distaste.
When they’re cutting loose they create a singularly aggressive and unhinged sound which makes Mats Gustafsson sound like Kenny G, but what’s interesting here is the amount of different styles they play with over the course of the album, with the aforementioned folky number and the soothing piano and melodica gorgeousness of ‘Death In September’ providing a respite from the noise assault. This makes the endurance-test violence of the opener and ‘Simulated Night’ all the more powerful, and by the time I get to the closing harsh drones of ‘Memories of Portbou’ I’m exhausted. As the pressing of 150 suggests, this is not a record for everybody - "wild cuts by wild men", as the press release says - but if you’ve got a stomach for harsh noise it’s really quite unique!
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