The Rollator Series on attenuation circuit, dedicated to noise and curated by noise artist ORiFiCE, returns with a new release by Japanese noise duo Astro. Hiroshi Hasegawa on modular synth and Rohco on electric violin (!) and electronics offer an intense, immersive and atmospheric noise album.
The album features three tracks, with the first two clocking in at about 15 minutes each. Thanks to the use of a variety of textural materials, not only the instruments mentioned above but also field recordings and samples, Astro create the dense, deep mass of sound that is necessary to achieve a great physical noise experience, but also manage to keep it musically interesting because there are always little changes going on in the sonic texture.
The third track, “Vermillion Gate”, lasts almost half an hour and is a relentless climb towards a culmination point which – spoiler alert – could lead one to suspect that one's listening device has broken. If noise is the intentional dramatisation of losing control over acoustic signal chains in order to demonstrate the fragility of our addictive relationship to technology, then this is a masterpiece that goes all the way towards the complete collapse of the system it has set up.
File under: noise
factory-produced CDr in cardboard sleeve
Released in 2020
limited to 100 copies
price: 7.00 EUR (excl. postage)
Rollator Series ACRS 1015
recorded at several spaces between November 2019 and January 2020, mixed and mastered by Hiroshi Hasegawa at Koenji-Minami Studio Tokyo, February and March 2020.
Hiroshi Hasegawa (modular synth, field recordings and samplings)
and Rohco (electric violin and electronics)
coverartwork by DORIS BOEKER
design by EMERGE
The Japanese noise unit ASTRO was founded in 1993.
Mastermind Hiroshi Hasegawa although founded and formed C.C.C.C. (a.k.a. Cosmic Coincidence Control Center), another well-known Japanoise outfit, in 1990.
It is very important for Hiroshi that listeners listen to his composition or details of his work carefully. He always feels noise is very fertile, that there are many opposite elements in it. Diversity and variousness are basic and crucial themes in this connection. Also one charm of noise is feeling both extreme images of destruction and creation in its background, he thinks.
Complete improvisation of free flow is elementary for live shows by ASTRO. Its style of playing seems like drifting between meditation and awaking …
Today ASTRO is a duo together with Rohco.
Since many years Astro is the solo project of Hiroshi Hasegawa, who is also a member of CCCC. He plays modular synthesizer, field recording and sampler. Also part of Astro on this release is one Rohco who plays electric violin and electronics. Not that one could easily recognize field recordings or violins in the three pieces on this release; two pieces of about fifteen minutes and one that is twenty-nine. That one, the title piece, sees Astro being at his loudest. It is a long onslaught of distorted sounds, but it's not of the strict harsh noise variety. It almost sounds as if Astro first stuck a whole bunch sounds on tape, with hard cuts between them and then feeds it through his modular synth, with everything sets to overload and destroy. The two shorter pieces before that, by comparison, is a tad less destructive and upon re-listening, one can recognize the field recordings (which I guess were taped at a demolition site downtown). The violin is nowhere to be recognized and it could be about any instrument being fed through a whole lot of electronics, resulting in feedback and distortion. It all sounds very akin to Merzbow and should there not be enough of that, there is always Astro (luckily not on a similar release schedule frenzy).