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*Mighty split set from Mika Vainio and Raster Noton's Kouhei Matsunaga, aka NHK* Japanese sound artist Kouhei Matsunaga presents the first in a series of four releases for Important records. He splits this album with Finnish electronics pioneer Mika Vainio, giving two sides of sound from polarized ends of the experimental/noise spectrum. Kouhei is known for his work in two capacities. Most recently, as part of the NHK duo he produced a killer record for Raster Noton, alloying technoid breakbeats and harsh noise. He's also worked in a formidable number of collaboratory configurations alongside Carlos Giffoni, Autechre's Sean Booth (who appears in this series), Merzbow, Sleeparchive and D&M's Rashad Becker, among many others. It's Kouhei's side of this record that perhaps provides the most surprises. His 'Purple Wind' opener is a strangely jaunty beat-driven edit that sounds as if it were lifted directly off Prince's classic 'Forever In My Life' , using crafty panning and stereo diffusion techniques to make a relatively simple pattern sound deep and dynamic. On 'Gapaddiction' he allows himself to stretch out and explore a wider range of tones, from resonant and ultra-low bass rubs and pulses to magnificently scoped 3D noise sculptures with an impressive ear for ornate and unpredictable movements. On the flipside we find Mika Vainio in absolutely devastating form on 'Processing The Dead Minotaur'. This is Mika in fully turned-on mode, conducting visceral electric disturbances with an intuitive, masterful flourish, deploying crushing basssquall-riffs like he's just imbibed the spirit of Stephen O'Malley in a bottle of JD. Whatever space you're consuming this in becomes stimulated with blistering waves of pure kinetic charge making for an addictively physical experience. Both artists are in top form on this record, fans of proper heavy electronics should invest some time here. Limited copies - Essential Purchase!
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