Friday, May 14, 2021
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Kazuya Ishigami: Mind Liberation

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Artist: Kazuya Ishigami
Title: Mind Liberation
Format: CD + Download
Label: Dada Drumming (@)
Rated: * * * * *
An extremely prolific Japanese composer, sound performer, sound engineer and programmer, Kazuya Ishigami's releases go all the way back to 1996. He is the owner of Kobe based experimental & noise label Neus-318. Besides works under his own name, Ishigami also released under the name Daruin. 'Mind Liberation' is heavily influenced by Buddhist concepts and teachings; sometimes noisy and sometimes tranquil, just as the mind in transition. This is an intricate and sometimes delicate sound composition in two parts for your journey on the Path of Enlightenment.

Since this is my first experience with any Kazuya Ishigami release, I have absolutely no basis of comparison in regard to his other compositions. The album is divided into two parts - "Mind Liberation 1" (28:53) Anger, Sadness, Apathy; and "Mind Liberation 2" (28:54) Vanity, Pride, All Emotions. The first thing one may notice is how busy, or active "Mind Liberation 1" is in comparison to "Mind Liberation 2." From the outset there is a swirling of pseudo-metallic sound over low drone, and the sonics just keep on pouring in. Granted, there are spaces where not much is happening, but they're somewhat few and far between, excepting a segment in the middle with the whistling wind alone after a mechanical sound has faded out. Some passages have a definite industrial/mechanical sound, and because something interesting is usually happening, and not for too extended a period of time, the work is fairly fascinating.

"Mind Liberation 2" opens with some downtempo piano chords and other sonic effluvia and at first seems like it might be as active as the previous track, but no- a dark grey ambience takes over clouding the sky and plunges the listener into a sort of darkness. It's quite minimal for a while with drones wafting through the aether going on for several minutes until something else happens. That something else is sort of an alarm, a kind of sci-fi electronics alarm at that. Sounds are a lot more varied on this track; real sound samples are often used but in unusual ways. There is still plenty of electronics in use though. In fact, there is one section in the middle where the repetition (sounding like a feedback loop) gets really annoying, but just when you think you've had enough and you're ready to skip over it, it stops. There is an inkling of activity on this track, but it is somewhat subdued. As with Part 1, Part 2 seems to be episodic, with a certain set of sounds carrying on for a while (usually with a generous amount of repetition), then either fading or stopping while a new set begins. The correlation between these segments to me seems enigmatic, and as blurry as the image of the statue on the CD's cover. Still, there is something about this work that may appeal to people outside of the hardcore avant garde music realm in its fascinating hallucinatory sound collage that manages to captivate the listener's attention. For that reason, I'd strongly recommend it.

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