Noble – NBL-215 – 13th November 2015
There’s world music and there’s world music. It seems fitting that the title of Osaka-based composer Takashi Hattori’s debut should suggest music from beyond the inhabited human world, and draws on elements spanning the globe, and, seemingly, far beyond.
It begins with Asian dub colliding with something approximating electronic bagpipes and thumping industrial techno beats. Frenzied orchestral strikes spin in all directions over wildly complex and ever-shifting time signatures. It’s often bewildering, and you can’t help but wonder ‘what the hell is this guy on? Moreover, what does the inside of his head look like?’ It’s the sonic equivalent of a seizure, flashes of mental energy and synapses firing every which way all at once. There’s no question Hattori operates on a different wavelength from pretty much anyone else on the planet.
Magnificently atmospheric passages are rent by sharp blasts of treble, brain-bending motifs looping into eternity and layered one upon the other and strange doodles filter through winds of phase and whistling analogue trills and free jazz whirls in a sonic vortex.
It takes a rare talent to make something as wide-ranging in its stylistic elements actually work. Arguably not since Captain Beefheart has there been something quite as wildly inventive, or as brain-fryingly multiplicitous in its simultaneous trajectories. A Trout Mask Replica for the 21st century? Maybe: Hattori clearly couldn’t care less about commercialism or accessibility, and is less concerned with writing ‘songs’ as exploding every convention of genre, structure and linearity. Not so much an album, as an aural quasar in full force.