There is something singularly unique and peculiar in the degree to which seemingly unsettling themes and extreme taboos have been explored, most notably in the medium of film, in the land of Nippon. Free from the constraints of reality, notions of grotesque brutality, torture, fetishism, and sadomasochism, to name a few, have oftentimes served as driving motifs in the examination of the true nature of violence latent in the most repressed reaches of the human mind. Concurrently, in the realm of electronic music, many Japanese producers have often been able to cultivate and harness a daring yet distinctly refined and inimitable form of organized sonic chaos, one almost instantly recognizable to the occidental ear. The music of Tomohiko Sagae, and in particular his latest contribution to Furanum’s catalogue, The Spurt of Blood, is perhaps a quintessential example of the confluence of the former themes and latter medium.
At the outset of the record, the beholder is faced with the ‘Vacant Eyes’ of a staggering monstrosity, a subdued and subjugated automata in the midst of a bleak dystopia, nearly lifeless but for the grudgingly conceded advance of its death march. As a battery of gratuitous aural violence led by a dominant synth is rapidly unleashed in the subsequent composition, a growing malaise transforms into fractured bone and psyche alike, with no distinction made anymore between the tearing of metal, flesh, or the fabric of the mind. Culminating in ‘Severe Pain’, with limits of endurance breached and descent into madness the only seeming form of respite, relentlessly rolling drums and hauntingly sublime howls provide the context for the dawning realization of pain as a virtue in and of itself, when a demented pleasure and the exhilarative liberation that lies therein begins to emerge. In the final act, reinterpreted by Furanum stalwarts Uncto, roles are tellingly reversed as the vacant eyes of the victim become that of the oppressor. With cold-blooded precision, the original is reengineered into a force of merciless domination, its elements machined and recalibrated for pure power.
Mastered by the CGB at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering
Words: PSD (c)
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