Dusted Reviews

Hototogisu - Chimärendämmerung

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Hototogisu

Album: Chimärendämmerung

Label: De Stijl

Review date: Nov. 6, 2006

In yet another sub-genre over-populated by sound-a-like practitioners, Hototogisu induce reverie via highly personalised, idiosyncratic noise construction. Marcia Bassett (also of Double Leopards, GHQ, Zaika) and Matthew Bower (Sunroof!, Skullflower, Mirag) pursue the flaming infinite, which has led them slowly to disarm their music of any structural rock referent. For example, compare the complex tributaries of blood-noise that flood Chimärendämmerung with the blasted drum pounds scoring the opening of Some Blood Will Stick, a recently-released disc on Important that revives 2004-2005 era recordings. (Both discs are equally great, by the way.) Although the duo’s key drives haven’t changed, their ability to manifest and articulate these drives has seriously intensified in the past two years, with their 2004 double Ghosts from the Sun the beginning of a second phase that saw Hototogisu seriously re-phrasing noise’s language.

Chimärendämmerung engages in slow build; it begins by paddling around in a relative lagoon of (dis)quiet before Bower and Bassett pile more layers of dissonance. The set reaches an apex about 45 minutes through (all tracks are, as ever, untitled) where the heat-wave created by the interaction of viola, guitar and electronics, all maxed with volume and scoured by feedback, spontaneously births an almost entirely new syntax for the duo.

Hototogisu ride on the non-conventional transcendence of high-pitched wail and ear-shearing treble, which brings them close at times to the feverish noise meltdowns of the Alchemy label noise or the more brutal/brittle Borbetomagus passages, but there’s also an unexpected pastoralism to Hototogisu’s music, perhaps due to its leisurely pacing. This is not your classic rustic pastoral, but rather an attenuated take on the extremities of the natural - blinding sun; the rangy buzz of bee swarms; the lacerations of freezing cold water.

It’s also illuminated music, close to the psychoactive properties of Tony Conrad’s The Flicker or Paul Sharits’s Peace Mandala/End War, where flickering and strobing light creates new hallucinatory patterns for the mind’s eye. Hototogisu, however, turn their attention to the ear, with no less powerful results. This is the new psychedelia, not a bunch of wank-stains with wah pedals - thanks to whomever for that slowly dawning realization.

By Jon Dale

Other Reviews of Hototogisu

Floating Japanese Oof! Gardens of the 21st Century

Read More

View all articles by Jon Dale

Find out more about De Stijl

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.