Kurushimi


(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Kurushimi (2016), 7/10
Return 1 Kimon (2017), 6/10
Return 2 - The Grove (2018), 6/10
What Is Chaos (2018), 7/10
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Andrew Mortense was the bassist of Serious Beak, a prog-metal band from Sydney (Australia) that released Huxwhukw (2011) and Ankaa (2015).

He then launched his own project, Kurushimi, based on a "Violence in Action" game-driven composition/improvisation strategy, inspired by both John Cage's aleatory music and John Zorn's early experiments. Kurushimi's manifesto was the live Violence In Action (Sonichimaera, 2015).

The album Kurushimi (2016), recorded with Ian Pieterse and Kim Lawson on saxophones, Simon Dawes on guitar and Chris Allison on drums, offers an intense sonic experience. Shinigami (9:24) is a good introduction to the method, a mix of atmospheric Miles Davis and chaotic Albert Ayler that implodes in punkish frenzy. The lengthy Kimon (16:55) is a close relative to the free-from cacophony of Supersilent and Borbetomagus, whereas Amanojaku (10:32) indulges in percussive and hypnotically repetitive sections. Onmoraki (8:32) begins with a whirlwind of guitar effects over pounding drums like Jimi Hendrix on speed, but saxophones soon start screaming at each other with amazing, almost metronomic, coordination. Those are basically the general coordinates of the music. Harder to pin down is In A Grove (13:34), a multi-part composition that begins emulating small furry animals and insects in the forest, and after three minutes is devoured by frantic percussion and heavy-metal guitar, and then implodes in sparse, if neurotic, interplay, and then ends in an eerie gothic calm while the sounds of nature return. Equally hermetic is Amanozako (9:25), that begins with a dreamy noir atmosphere and then plunges into a voodoobilly-kind of dance or a Von Lmo-ish kind of pulsating martyrdom. Contradicting everything that has been heard before, Jorogumo (6:25) closes the album sounding like a suspenseful movie soundtrack that slowly falls asleep.

The EP Sho─totsu (Art As Catharsis, 2016) contains two noisefests like Gambler's Death-Shuffle, that borders on Japanese noise-core, and Silent As In A Crimson Sunrise, littered with turntable effects and electronic drones.

Return 1 Kimon (Art As Catharsis, 2017), again with the same lineup of Dawes, Allison, Lawson and Pieterse, contains a different kind of jam, Return 1 Kimon (13:44), a sophisticated study in galactic drones. It also contains two live improvisations that are more typical of their dissonant and chaotic mayhem: Movement 1 (Live) (20:46), with some insane orgasmic accelerations, and Movement 2 (Live) (14:37), a childish exercise in extreme cacophony. The live pieces suffer from rather mediocre playing.

What Is Chaos (Art As Catharsis, 2018) opens with the barbaric post-metal eruption of What Is Chaos? (9:18), but the music is frequently much more refined. In fact, the playing is generally much more professional. A much improved rhythm section and dental-drilling guitar effects lends credibility to the dissonant free-jazz jam A Glimpse Of A Thursday Afternoon. Feast (12:02) is even more fractured than usual, sounding at the beginning like music for a shooting range, but it actually incorporates soulful reed counterpoint before indulging in a delirious bacchanal. I Know You (11:44), one of their peaks, opens with four minutes of virulent organ improvisation against an expressionist backdrop of voices and solemn clangor before it opens wide the floodgates of hell and lets in a dense magma of flaming noise and apocalyptic screams. Ethereal gothic vocals interact with the instruments in Embracing The Delicious (11:54) until covered by a blanket of abrasive reeds. Its second half opens with a piano sonata, ghostly voices, the sound of wind and then suddenly a percussive orgy. The limitation remains of a music that is not only improvised but improvised within the improvisation: there seems to be no theme around which to improvise, no center of mass, as if the thing to improvise about was improvised itself at every step of the piece.

Return 2 - The Grove (2018) delivered Return 2 - The Grove (23:24), which for nine minutes it is an imposing symphony of ambient glitch-noise drenched in psychedelic reverb, but then turns (or, better, explodes) into the usual childish chaos, An Overwhelming Sense of Dread (10:31), the highlight, that attains a balance between noise-jazz and the majestic suspense of prog-rock, and Live at Wasteland (33:00), which documents yet another self-indulgent live performance (recorded in november 2016).

Kurushimi's drummer Chris Allison also plays in Instrumental Adj with guitarist Simon Dawes and bassist Simon Grove.

(Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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