MSBR/Government Alpha | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

MSBR/Government Alpha 


Now that Merzbow, elder statesman of the Japanese noise underground, is releasing albums through John Zorn and appearing at major festivals (he'll be at Victoriaville this year), it's about time somebody else stepped up onto the bottom rung of the ladder. This double bill promises a glimpse into the future of Tokyo experimentalism. On the recent Geosynclines (Flenix), MSBR (aka Koji Tano) engineers wild leaps in dynamics and density, shifting from exceedingly quiet bell tones into overdriven jet engine blasts. The only predictable thing about it is its unsettling unpredictability: dropouts can interrupt the proceedings for seconds at a time or chop a screaming stream of sound into a staccato barrage. On Obliteration (Mother Savage/Xerxes), Government Alpha is even less subtle: Yasutoshi Yoshida opts for the kind of all-out racket more commonly associated with "Japanoise," literally writhing on the floor with a tiny noise generator, getting lost in the din in a form of electronically dependent primal scream therapy. To properly appreciate this stuff you're supposed to listen carefully, but I think you'll be able to make out the details just fine through earplugs. TV Pow and Seafoam open. Saturday, 10 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photos.

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