Boomkat Product Review:
A massive influence on Prurient and Hospital Productions, Incapacitants’ seminal Japanese noise onslaught ‘Stupid Is Stupid’ reissued on vinyl for the first time since the 1993 double-cassette release
Spawned by Osaka-based bank clerk Toshiji Mikawa as a solo offshoot from pioneering improv/noise unit Hijokaidan, Incapacitants initially revolved Mikawa and his self-titled feedback instrument for three albums during the ‘80s, before he was joined by civil servant Fumio Kosakai (C.C.C.C.) circa 1991, and the pair have wreaked havoc ever since. ‘Stupid Is Stupid’ features some of their earliest and fiercest “pure noise” recordings from 1991 and was issued by legendary french noise label Sounds For Consciousness Rape (Anne Gillis, Con-Dom, Smell & Quim), and became a cult staple of J-noise, hailed by everyone from Russell Haswell to Prurient, who now picks it up for this lovingly pieced-together vinyl edition, painstakingly restored by Kris Lapke (Alberich), and encased in sleeve art that mimics the original tape’s wire-mesh enclosure.
Selt-mantled as the “King of Noise”, Mikawa lives up to his lofty standards alongside Kokosai to the fullest across the 2 hour breadth of ‘Stupid Is Stupid’. Working hard within their style of “pure noise”, and with no concession to boring old musicality, the results are utterly febrile and seething with apocalyptic, spirit-wrenching drama; gushing torrents of high frequency squall that absorbs and spits out all that’s ferocious and effective from their influences such as Whitehouse, The New Blockaders, Borbetomagus and M.B., with a white hot sense of ecstasy that simply does not let up.
Thrilling in its sensory evisceration, the results push right up to the definition of their name, leaving listeners petrified and dealing with their own fight or flight responses to the sounds ultra violence sadism. But, as many lovers of the most effective noise might tell you, Incapacitants’ radical levels of panicked data overload are possibly, conversely meditative when you get into it. Either way, this stuff is rarely surpassed in terms of sheer menace, and the fact that it comes from a pair of guys who wear suits to their day jobs only makes it that bit more potent and emphasises its necessary, cathartic nature.