Absolut Null Punkt
Live in Japan
wo hundred words in honor of dying whales: The first thing that happens is that you’re stabbed in the eye. A pink sine wave needle thrust in the spirit of Philip Dick, in and out, in and out. This is anti-enlightenment. Now that we’re lost, now that it is dark, the drumming starts. Animal from the Muppets is still in top form. Then: this is processed in real time, digitally glitched, and poured back on us. It’s like an unmanned jack hammer in an oil drum whirling around a meth-induced Art Blakey, and Blakey is paying enough attention to make sure it all sounds intentional. That’s the first track. Now that our pesky ego has been annihilated, we can be reconstituted from the ground up. The building blocks of this reconstruction are pounding tribal drums. A pre-historic heart too large for our puny chest is experiencing tachycardia. Scuttling through the creases of the warped space-time comes metallic contact mic salt, like small mammals scavenging the forest floor. Evolution occurs at an accelerated rate. Nails in a blender expand exponentially, melting into a swirling whirlpool of liquid metal howling. Percussion causes bubbles to roil to the surface. Surfacing from under this kinetic miasma are terrifying, mammoth screams of whales in hell.
200 words in honor of the wooden shinto thunder demon sculpture at Cleveland museum of art: The Japanese create the best pornography. In past reviews, I’ve argued that noise music is aesthetically legitimate pornography. The Japanese, not surprisingly, create the best noise. Absolute Null Punkt is K.K. Null and Seijiro Murayama, both Japanoise icons. Improvised, noisy music from Japan is hot shit amongst snobby music types lately. ANP was Null’s project before he formed the genre defining Zena Geva in 1987. Perhaps the duo have reformed to show the kiddies how it’s done. The majority of the ‘reunion album’ (ha!) is the nuclear whale torture described above. Murayama plays drums and other percussion. Null adds noise and mutates/pukes on the rest. All the tracks are culled from live shows in 2003. Some are drastically remixed by Null in the studio. Think whale orgasms, and sine fire spliced into free jazz lines. These tracks function as downtime between the straight takes, which are the main course. Quality noise music is often defined by what it is not. Viscerality is easily achieved. The totality of the sounds here are tangible and immediate, creating a psychedelic landscape of shapes and timbres, never falling into the noise quicksand of dull, grey, unchanging voids. Apparently Null remembers the lessons Albini taught him back in the day. ANP does not feel/sound like putting your head in a jet engine. ANP sounds like an avalanche of jet engines cascading down a mountain side with you and a humpback whale tied together tumbling in the middle of it all. Death to false metal.
Reviewed by: Bryan Neil Jones
Reviewed on: 2004-04-21