Artificial Lover

Nava

by Deanne Sole

15 December 2011

 
cover art

Artificial Lover

Nava

(Kurage)
US: 8 Nov 2011
UK: 8 Nov 2011

The sound of a shamisen is unusually sharp and exact, even in the world of plucked string instruments. Each hit stands out, as isolate as the twang of a banjo. Portable as guitars, they’re popular with Japanese folk musicians. On Artificial Lover’s Nava, Oouchi Kazunori gives his shamisen a vortex presence, large and central, distorting the sound electronically, fraying it, cutting into it, or putting it at the bottom of a canyon of other noises, adding clicks and crunches, bird caws, turning this small instrument into the core of a massive filling of space, with vocal drone loops, industrial pounding, spasms, twitching,  then swings off into a fragment of Bizet’s Carmen. And I don’t think it’s unusual among Japanese underground musicians, these moments of jokey-seeming calm, torn apart by train wrecks. The neat shamisen is invaded by its opposite, a splattering orgasm, but the invasion is not totally serious,  asCarmen floats through, the violence is invaded by whimsy.

Nava

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Beyoncé and When Music Writing Becomes Activism

// Sound Affects

"The overall response to Beyoncé's "Formation" has been startlingly positive, but mostly for reasons attached to political agendas. It's time to investigate this trend.

READ the article