My Noise Valentine; Hiroshi Hasegawa & Desiccant on WFMU!
A monumental, momentous occasion is upon us, as Hiroshi Hasegawa makes his first visit to WFMU’s My Castle of Quiet. A living legend of Japanese long-form/improvised/psych-noise, Hiroshi Hasegawa co-founded C.C.C.C., cementing a near-Krautrock approach to Japanoise, one that had been hovering over it since Magical Power Mako, and later Merzbow, but C.C.C.C. really brought it home—with disk-long compositions/performances, that allowed listeners to float off on a cosmic bed of multicolored squeal and rumble. Hasegawa has continued this creative arc, through such projects as his solo Astro material, and the glorious, long-form Astromero collaborations with Damion Romero (Speculum Fight.)
Returning to our show are two seasoned and celebrated Castle guests; Mat Rademan (of FUN, Newton) and Andy Borsz (of Slasher Risk & countless collabs.), playing together as Desiccant; both of them natural improvisers, intuitive players who work at ease with unconventional sounds, their union sure to be full of excitement and surprise.
Live sets, recorded exclusively for WFMU and My Castle of Quiet, air Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, February 16-17 @ approx. 12:15 a.m.
Inasmuch as they bring the spirit of lighthearted enjoyment to their renderings in the avant-garde, the members of FUN are not jokers, nor are they schlemiels or shlamazels. Exhibit B in this particular case, these remixes of source material from their original My Castle of Quietsession of 15th December, 2010. I thought immediately that this was a great idea, and I wish I’d thought of it myself, but no, ’twas the FUN boys and a few of their colleagues in the noise universe that rendered these re-imaginings, which, depending on one’s perspective and/or mood of the moment, can prove more entertaining even than the original sets themselves.
Think of FUN as an urban-American brothers Rupenus, where everythingâ€”especially one’s own workâ€”becomes cut-up fodder to be dealt with accordingly. And, in the spirit of the remix (as we all originally became acquainted with that term and process), several of these tracks have a beat, and goddamn if you can’t dance to it.
For example, “Untitled (Unicorn Hard-on Remix)” is a glorious recall of NDW pop rhythms, while “We Gonna Fun You (Ironing remix)” is dancehall with a peg-leg. “Untitled (Tom Smith remix),” starting at about the 9-minute mark, is straight-up house music, metallurgist-style, the beat supplied by a harnessed and regimented fragment of tonal buzz. So, for those of you who “hate noise” (and are still reading this post), these FUN remixes may be just the thing to bridge your gap.
The other tracks cover perhaps more expected territory, but are no less engaging, and more than foot the bill of being revisitations of the original source session. Being able to ponder such a wealth of alternate camera angles upon one’s own creations gives away that FUN are indeed having fun, but not merely funâ€”there’s real artistry at work here.
There’s an old dirty joke that ends, “there’s two nuts downstairs, trying to push an organ in.” Who knew those “nuts” would turn out to be Mat and Jonny of FUN? Not I.
FUN (joined for their first set of two by their friend Kevin) make their home at Breathmint Records, based out of Philadelphia, PA. The duo approach “non-music” with an inventive enthusiasm, never seeming to do the same thing twice. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the sonic result of their efforts comes down somewhere between The New Blockaders, Albrecht D., Marcel Duchamp and Alvaro. I have records in my collection that are comparable to FUN in terms of sonic invention, but where these guys just DO IT, those old records carry high-falootin’ imprints, and elaborate notations and theses as to the “why.”
Mat and Jonny, sometimes awash in a larger ensemble, most often wear their trademark, tight-fitting, contact-mic’d rubber gas masks, which provide an intimidating visual dissociation for the listener/audience, and likely supply the musicians with the release of anonymity (and discomfort) to get further lost in their sound and performances.
– Wm. M. Berger
Wm. presents two, unique sets by FUN prepared especially for this broadcast.