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The No-Neck Blues Band - Hoichi CD (album) cover


The No-Neck Blues Band



2.95 | 3 ratings

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3 stars "Hoichi", as you may know, is a Japanese kaidan (Japanese ghost story) written by Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (aka Yakumo Koizumi). Hoichi was a blind minstrel with playing a stringed instrument called "Biwa", and a dreadful ghost disguised as an armoured samurai was immersed in his playing biwa. Apart from the detailed story (very horrible but interesting one really), I've quite amazed at the different way of feeling for this story between Japanese and American. For us Japanese this kaidan might be written as a tragedy in regard to a quiet battle between Hoichi and a ghost, whilst an interpretation of this story in US sounds like an explosive horror inferno with exclusively dissonant noise effects and partially sporadic sound particles via the whole creation.

We can hear a bunch of awesome catatonic and fanatic discordance especially in the first untitled track, with scattered noises / electronic shouts veiled deeply into cloudy fuzz / buzz notches. "For Neptune" (Neptune should be an armoured ghost methinks) is the steadiest, quietest noise ambiance along with Hoichi's biwa melodies representative of his respect for the samurai plus a ghostly chilling air and circumstance around the infernal samurai. The reverberations of xylophone-ish percussion beneath the calmness can make us mad and nervous rather than calm and cool. In the last "The Law Of The Sea" suite, flooded with sharp-edged metallic noises, deep woody percussive sounds, and plaintive weep / groan fainter and fainter in the distance, we can find the stream of sea waves, gradually altering itself kaleidoscopically or prismatically, under such a horrible and simultaneously tragic dark sky. Yes finally we can never hear anything but a rough air, felt maybe as Hoichi's blood flowing from the both sides of his face.

This noise ambient stuff over 45 minutes long is a bit tough for us to listen completely but we can feel their aggressive intention to shoot more sensational hoax than Mittelwinternacht '71. Splendid theatre really.

P.S. Anyway, this album's title is "Hoichi", not "Hoichoi" like a kung fu texture lol.

DamoXt7942 | 3/5 |


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