Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hijokaidan | Noise from Trading Cards

For some reason this one seems to be conspicuously absent from the blogosphere, and seeing how it's apparently OOP, I figure it deserves to be listened to just as much as any of the other million downloads out there. Do you ever feel like this shit is just too easy these days? I don't know. I'm on the fence. On the one hand I'm so stoked that so many great sounds are available, but on the other hand it seems like the availability is overwhelming, and a bit too easy. I've got a word pad list as long as my arm with stuff I've downloaded and need to listen to, which isn't a big problem, but it is what it is. In the long run, I suppose there will always be value in the actual physical product, especially with the limited edition stuff. So maybe I should just enjoy the music, and quit over-fucking-analyzing everything.

Hijokaidan's most popular release (which might not be saying much) may not be as relentless and unwavering as some of their other fine exhibits of noise, but it's a good punch in the gut or flick of the balls that creates that long, drawn out ache that seems to linger somewhere between extreme pain and an unyielding and highly bothersome disturbance of comfort. And despite issues of desensitization, this music is, has been, and probably always will be food for the soul of masochistic noise fans.

This type of noise seeks out the sensitive parts of our psyche and body as a sort of psychosomatic virus coded to invade and conquer our better sensibilities while belying the mask of convention and betraying common-sense. That is, rather than putting on something sane you continue to hear/listen to the insanity, and rather than following that wise voice in your head that says "turn that shit down", you continue to turn it up.

Individual Japanese noise outfits seem to create (and seemed to have created) from a common thread/goal/method, while also unraveling that thread with each destruction of expectation and every minute of ostensible senselessness, going in a thousand different directions, eventually somehow resolving their fits of chaos, turning them into manageable textures and sounds, eventually engendering unique sound through chaos. Hijokaidan seem to be the paradigm of this model, which is not surprising, as there is an incestuous ancestry in Japanese noise of this type.

Noise From Trading Cards came out in 1997, 16 years after their first release, so it is fair to say some sort of realization, but not exactly progression had been made in that time. And despite the unspoken ethics of noise, which are not so much concerned with progression or maturation as with experiment and form, it can be safe to assume some sort of development in sound was sought after, and achieved, as that is the nature of the artistic beast. That being said, do not fear that Noise From Trading Cards in any way softens the blows or moves too far away from the intensity of sound that Hijokaidan is known for, because the only thing to fear in this realm of sound is that the aural kick in the balls just might rupture something.

Bleed your ears.

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