30 January 2012

I Saw The Future of Music & It Is... CUT HANDS in Tokyo

Everyone in the venue, UNIT, was filled with anticipation; around two hundred people were there, in one of the hip areas of Tokyo, Ebisu. It was a triple bill night with veteran Noise legends, Incapacitants celebrating their 30th anniversary, Ramleh of seminal Power Electronics record label, Broken Flag and the headliner, Cut Hands completing the triptych. The opening act started at around 7.15pm, but it was not one of the three acts mentioned earlier. Masked and hyperactive at his gadgets on the table placed in the middle of the stage, the man went on for 20 minutes to squeeze out some of the most piercing electronic squiggles possible this side of The New Blockaders. It might just be one of the Rupenus brothers underneath that ski-mask of the guy...

Incapacitants were the next act; rock n' roll was what they were all about. The two by-day salarymen in offices of their banks transformed into rock monsters tonight and they have been at it for 3 decades. The electricity from their circuit-linked noise set-up seemed to course through their bodies and in turn, sent tremours throughout the audience and the venue. They kick serious ass. Especially when one of them stage-dived into the crowd. Sheer Dionsyian abundance.

Ramleh came on next and their signature mix of psychedelic guitar-pyrotechnics with the wall-of-noise of power electronics is all about melting the ether and freeing the synapses of the audience. Volcanic and immersive, the duo was still at the top of their game.

When Cut Hands, a.k.a. William Bennett of Whitehouse and Come notoriety came on at around 9.20, the mood was right for what was in store for the congregation of refuse-niks, Noise heads, long-hair freaks & other assorted weirdos. The thundering Afro beats with the accompanying bass rumble shook the place, the images on the wall presented still photographs of Africans in their various daily affairs but pulsing in synch with the almost distorting and overloading rhythms from Bennett's laptop. What the hell was he emitting? Basic Channel filtered through cassette-quality Sublime Frequencies tapes and re-fed back into the existentialist speculation of modern life? This is not merely Noise transmogrified through beats but this is a sign of what is to come, in other words, I saw the future of music and it is Cut Hands.

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