大友良英 (Otomo Yoshihide) - Cathode


Yoshihide's "Cathode" begins with a beautiful, languid acoustic ballad that is surrounded on all sides by harsh, piercing sine wave modulations. The way in which Sachiko M's abrasive sine solo bleeds over the beauty of the fragility of the sho and acoustic guitar piece is a masterful demonstration of contrast. "Cathode #1" features some downright disturbing and inhuman sounds, from the back-masked cymbals that creep in eerily to all manner and the spasmodic, jittery Shamisen melodies. The entire piece has a distinct Musique Concrète feel, with all the various fragments of sound being brought together in a bizarre and claustrophobic way, recreating the ominous atmosphere of a piece like Chion's "Requiem". "Cathode #2" forgoes the cacophony of the previous song, shifting from ghostly sine wave melodies to insect-esque chirping and the fragments of feedback crackling underneath the track, as the sine wave melodies intensify, until the glitches take complete hold of the track - yet despite the apparent noise, this track feels far more controlled and restrained than the all-out cacophony of "Cathode #1", and further demonstrates Yoshihide's skill as a master of contrast. The closer is just a duet between Sho and Sine Wave modulations, and the haunting, reedy sound of the Sho perfectly complements the high pitched whine of the Sine Wave modulations, a hauntingly beautiful, ghostly harmony that ends the album on an ominous, spectral note.


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