(Solstice)

Beautifully packaged and adorned with the usual fine cover photo by the composer himself, the 38th (!) CD in Koji Asano’s discography gathers pieces spanning from 1992 to 1994, before his debut album Solstice. Considering the pretty Spartan sources and materials used, these compositions – all of them raw electroacoustic jewels – show a great degree of intelligence and openness to unexpected solutions: there are juxtapositions of feedback and saturation-point percussion (“Half-Moon”), long concrete shape shifts (“Sparrow”, “Remedy”), menacing wall-of-noise explorations opposed to absurd no-man’s lands in orchestras at 200mph speed (“Corridor”, which is not so far from Frank Zappa’s experiments in “The Chrome-Plated Megaphone Of Destiny” on We’re Only In It For The Money). Then again, remember that Asano was really just a kid when assembling these nice oddities and you’ll have to agree that this man must undergo a serious re-evaluation process as his music – including these early works – represents a constant challenge to obviousness.

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