The latest release from Richard Chartier’s Line label is NHK’s Program. NHK, confusingly, is a duo made up of NHK’Koyxen’s Kouhei Matsunaga and Toshio Munehiro. This is a great album of sharp experimental electronics, feeling like two exploring minds at play. Exciting miniatures crafted from the bare-bones of digital sound.
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- Program by NHK
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 19 February 2015
After Roden & Bretschneider’s slightly too abstracted Suite Nuit, another release with just Ch. 1-10 as the tracklist (no Ch. 9…) got my madness radar bleeping. It only took the second minute of NHK’s Program for it to be bleeping completely in sync with said alarm, glitchy cracked repetition and all. It doesn’t surprise me that they’ve released on Raster Noton and done a split with SND, that’s their scene right there.
NHK is a duo of Japanese noisers Kouhei Matsunaga & Toshio Munehiro and, as the title suggests, Program is unashamedly digital music. It’s staccato, sharp loops of isolated noise spectres, pushed so far into sterility that it becomes another world of (a)tonality. These two are saying ‘let the world of analog be warm and organically nuanced. See if digital cares’, and they’ve got a point. The resurgence in classic synth music revival is perhaps more Jarreing and eventually nauseating when compared to the breadth of texture available to the digital music, where artists can easily build custom instruments to suit their needs and completely break apart what it means to make music.
Apparently they are distant nephews of the dub techno godfathers, and it shows through in their soundscapes. Usually the experimental electronic lot do away with reverb, because simulating natural spaces is like SO lame. But these guys have embraced it as part of their heritage, dub delaying their way through 6/7 minute loop epics such as ‘Ch. 6’. What an underwhelming way to refer to tracks. “WOW CHECK OUT CHANNEL 3 MAN”.
Tracklist aside, this is a great expose of the possibility of machine music and its place in the 2015 music scene and beyond, and proof that you don’t have to do away with meter to make weird shit.
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