Exposé Online banner

Richard Pinhas and Merzbow — Keio Line
(Cuneiform Rune 278/279, 2008, 2CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2009-07-01

Keio Line Cover art

Having redefined the scale of sonic monumentalism with the 2006 two-disc set Metatron, Keio Line cleaves to the opposite – a two disc set of comparatively simple instrumentation reliant upon the real-time reconfiguration of signals. To again borrow from Kurt Schwitters, Keio Line is clearly an audio merzbau, collage-like rambles using scraps of audioforms and phrases generated by guitar with de rigueur pedals, a synth, and the now omnipresent laptop. For Schwitters, "merz" was a contraction of the German word "schmerz," meaning pain. And while the pain here is implicit, never overt, the music is often reassuringly familiar. The signal path – where so much effort now resides – results in a restless sonic amalgam, admirably uncertain, all deftness in the soundstage and still radiant with the digital metaphor of the analog ideal. But set beside other signal paths, this one seems too well-worn. By now one wonders if Pinhas is asking himself even the most rudimentary questions about his approach. While phrases subsumed by reprocessing and laptopification swirl and shudder with unflagging conviction in the pulsing spontaneium, they occasionally surface and are readily recognizable from as long ago as Allez Teia, the Heldon album featuring such loving invocations of Fripp's 70s sostenudo. Keio Line may simply demonstrate that we've lived long enough to cross the generational threshold, innovation now belonging to those born into the digital milieu, not grafted onto it, and consequently being the better suited in surveilling the new terrain.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Pinhas, Merzbow (Masami Akita)

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Born Again Floozies - Street Music – This Indiana based quintet led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Joey Welch caught this writer's ear a few years ago with their debut EP Novelties, Addenda and Ephemera, five songs that...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues