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mika vainio / sean booth / kouhei matsunaga - 3. Telepathics Meh In-sect Connection
*NEW ON IMPORTANT - MIKA VAINIO, AUTECHRE'S SEAN BOOTH AND NHK'S KOUHEI MATSUNAGA IN A THREE-WAY COLLABORATION* 'Telepathics Meh In-Sect Connection' features enigmatic Japanese sound artist Kouhei Matsunaga in collaboration with Autechre's Sean Booth and Mika Vainio. It's the second in a series of four releases featuring Kouhei both in collaboration and solo mode on Important, and quite undoubtedly the most challenging of the lot. Besides his more recent work as NHK with Toshio Munehiro on Raster Noton Kouhei is a known for his interactions with an extensive number of like-minded musicians and artists including Sensational, Asmus Tietchens and Conrad Schnitzler. As the label states, this album is "an exploration of silence, space and electronic tones intended to rewire your brain for a new comprehension of sound", a lofty ambition that the trio approach with consummate belief, backed by their experienced understanding of sonic dynamics. The three tracks are divided by the permutations of the lineup, each featuring Kouhei. In the first instance we're hearing Kouhei and Vainio seemingly attempting to create the quietest sound possible. Fluttering static distortion disintegrates into ultra high-pitched tones and what is possibly the sound of a manipulated contact mic, or maybe a recording taken from an unknowingly answered mobile in Mika's pocket while he was at a Lucio Capece performance. We just don't know. Track 2 features all three in conjunction, pyramid edited and mixed by Kouhei. Here we find more tangible sound sources; interjections of reverberant drones, fluid trickles of molten tones and minute scurries of dust across a mic surface. In the final case, between Sean and Kouhei, stray signals of abstract xylophonic ephemera occupy the foreground while someone lifts a plate from the cupboard in the kitchen before slowing blow-torching their creme bruleé. The beauty of all this is, we don't know what the f*ck is going on. Nothing is explained or explicable, the imagination fills in huge blanks while being given teasing inklings of some alien occurrence, driving us to use every last drop of concentration to decipher the size of the space, the shape of the sounds and the textures just at the periphery of our perceptions. If we can figure out a piece of music or composition upon the first, 2nd, or even tenth listen surely it loses some of its lustre or mystique, even if it still operates on a personally satisfying experience. With this we'll be here till next christmas and still won't have the faintest idea of what just happened. Brilliant.