Archive for the hototogisu Category

Zaimph – La Nuit Electrique (Utech) 2007

Posted in Double Leopards, hototogisu, Music, noise, Zaimph with tags , , on December 29, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

Maybe we need to figure out a better word for noise to describe some of these records because the deeper and deeper I go into noise I get the feeling that the term is for the most part redundant. Take a well known “noise”  group such as Jazkamer. Their recent series of records are all completely different and very few approach noise in a Merzbow sense. I suppose even called Merzbow noise is getting a bit silly – I own 70+ Merzbow records (80+ if I include Merzbient) – given the variety of sound he produces. Maybe that bloke from Choclate Monk has it right when he demanded the use of the term “noises” instead of noise.

You see Marcia Basset (Double Leopards, Hototogisu) is a pretty important artist in the field of “noise” except the sound that she produces is not the same as the brutal Japanese stuff, or the Rust-belt decay of Wolf Eyes of even the playfulness of the Scandanavians. The sound she produces on La Nuit Electrique is both haunting, sinister and at times uncompromising. The first track is like a broken pianola which plays all by itself whilst an AM radio broadcast of the sound of fireworks bubbles underneath. In the last third I get the hint of disembodied voice floating through the track. It demands close listening and a fair bit of volume to tease out all of its hidden gems. The third track is my favourite. Lets just say this afternoon whilst dealing with back pain through the liberal use of codeine and muscle relaxants, I had the distinct feeling of entering a cavern in the middle of an ancient religious ritual. Pimmon used similar vocal effects in his recent show and that just blew me away. This is my first exposure to Basset as a solo artist. This record is certainly not noise in the way most of us define it but it is just as creepy and much more unsettling. I might need to hear more of Zaimph-  this records works for me pretty well.

Hototogisu – Chimarendammerung (De Stijl) 2006

Posted in Double Leopards, hototogisu, Music, noise, Skullflower, Sunroof! on September 19, 2009 by noisenoisenoise


Chimarendammerung is basically a drone record. A very busy, noisy drone record but a drone record none the less. Hototogisu is a duo of  Matthew Bowers when he’s not playing in either Sunroof! or Skullflower and  Double Leopard’s Marcia Bassett. If you know Matt Bower’s other work you know what your going to get basically improvised noise jams filled with feedback  and other tricks of the trade. The din created on this record is pretty powerful and the first time I played it I was pretty underwelmed. I had a chance to concentrate later and it was only then that the full palate of the tracks was revealed. The metal-infused, guitar-based drone is flecked with other noise and instruments the most readily discernable being a bow being used on some type of string instrument. But this never quite reaches the  transcendent  beauty of Burning Star Core – Hototogisu play a much more visceral form of drone. I like this record more than the other Hototoguisu record I own, Some Blood Will Stick and I thought that was pretty good. Although that record was a much more claustrophobic and darker set of tracks,  it’s not like Chimarendammerung lets the light in. The sounds used are merely different and it doesn’t come close to creating the same mood of Some Blood… which had some genuinely creepy moments. In all there are five Untitled tracks. I particularly liked the second one especially in the  final third where a vaguely doomy lost souls effect bubbled to the  surface every now and then but for most of time the enjoyment in this record is the slight shifts in tone and variation as the tracks progress. I’m more of a fan of Skullflower and Double Leopards than this band but every now and then I give it a listen when I’m in that whole white noise coming through headphones kind of mood. If you watch the short clip I’ve included, they manage to achieve that whole transcendence through noise thing yet on this record that might give it a red hot go but they never quite get there.

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