Makoto Kawabata / Shinsuke Michishita — Sex, Voyage, and Echo Chamber
(Beta-lactam Ring mt180a, 2008, CD)
by Alan K. Lipton, Published 2010-07-01
Billed as the first collaboration between Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple and Michishita Shinsuke of LSD March, it’s no surprise this release sounds like two electric guitarists enjoying a rip-roaring psychotropic experience. But to what extent will listeners enjoy these four tracks? This listener has a hard time imagining anyone other than a tripping guitarist appreciating “Point of Point,” an interlude that sounds like Kawabata and Michishita faking each other out in a rhythmic duel instead of improvising their way toward common ground. Without the usual build-up of sustain to give it some continuity, this one is just plain irritating. Fortunately, the rest of the CD is more likely to sweep you along in its glorious chaos. The opening track, “Me and Bitter, Psychedelic Tokyo,” eases you into the whole experience with tentative, friendly chords as bigger, scarier distortion swells and looms behind overdriven tones, thickening in urgency and intensity. The steady rhythmic attack of “Queen No. 5” suggests a dangerous machine breaking down, the struts snapping as the motor revs and strains, and a robot keening as its world falls apart. “Rome No. 9,” the last and longest track, continues this celebration of the electric guitar's noise potential. After an opening like an animal being tickled and strangled, the guitars mass in a sludgy, brilliant wall of feedback drone, shimmering with tonalities that promise to resolve into something less random. And if you’re adrift in your own bitter, psychedelic Tokyo, maybe that promise will be fulfilled for you.
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