Richard Pinhas, Tatsuya Yoshida, Masami Akita: Process And Reality
An iconic name in the world of pioneering electronic music through his work with Heldon, guitarist Richard Pinhas has teamed up with the Japanese pairing of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and Masami Akita (also known as Merzbow), the latter credited with noise and electronics. In years gone by this trio have worked together singularly, as well as touring with each other, yet Process And Reality, a politically charged album inspired by the collapse of society, is notable for being the first time the three have recorded together as a group.
With none of the trio known for compromise, it's little surprise, especially given the subject matter, that Process & Reality arrives as a short introduction and three lengthy, challenging pieces, "TVJ 00 (Intro)", "TVJ 33 (Core Track)", "TVJ 66 (Non-Sens)" and "TVJ 77 (Quiet Final)". Neither is it a shock that initial forays into the album prove thoroughly inaccessible, the drone-industrial with a space rock gaze, as deep and dense as the largest of black holes. Buried deep in that blend is melody, Akita and Pinhas pinging out occasionally darting lines that have you leaning in, in hope of clasping onto something that will begin to unravel the melee. However, in truth, it all becomes overwhelming, the simple feeling of being at the foot of an avalanche of notes, percussion and sounds almost a burden too heavy to carry.
As often as not Yoshida pounds relentlessly, the constant fire of snare and cymbal similar to staring into a strobe light for an hour, the machine gun explosions bewildering as the phased guitar and synths have you ducking for fear as the constant waca-waca-waca-waca reminds of a crazed helicopter in distress. For the uninitiated it's all a little disconcerting and hugely disorientating, especially at volume. If you can't click with this barrage of the senses early on, it's doubtful if you ever will, the claustrophobic atmosphere utterly choking as the wild impacts refuse to subside. In fairness, I can't pretend to really understand drone in any of its forms and nothing here has altered that stance one jot. I can undoubtedly appreciate the precision and skill that's been poured into Process And Reality, but I simply can't find the door that will let me in to a place beyond confusion. As it is, I'm left like a rabbit in the headlights, waiting for the huge juggernaut wheels of this album to careen over me and put me out of my misery.
1. TVJ 00 (Intro)
2. TVJ 33 (Core Track)
3. TVJ 66 (Non-Sens)
4. TVJ 77 (Quiet Final)
Added: November 6th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Richard Pinhas online
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