Based respectively in Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japanese experimental electronic duo Takeshi F. and Ryuta K . have been collaborating as Overdose Kunst since 2001, and self-describe their creative output as being “post-sampling kinetic non-hierarchical non-linear non-equilibrium fourth world muziq.” While the above self-description fails to give much of an insight into the sorts of sonic explorations awaiting the listener on this five track CDR EP Non-Form Material Machine through New Zealand Creative Commons-based netlabel Postmoderncore, a quick listen through this EP’s 33 minute running length reveals the most evident touchstones here to be musique concrete as well as the slightly more predictable Japanoise leanings. Opening track ‘I Should Want To Be Alan Lomax In New Domain’ certainly suggests turbulence ahead, kicking things off with a dark wander into ambient-noise territory that pits relentless repetitive scraping guitar textures against an ominous backdrop of what sounds like overlaid crowd and traffic noise, with the odd recognisable fragments such as a mournful horn or snatch of intelligible conversation rising out of the din like momentary spectres. While the sense of oppressive noise appears overpowering at first however, continued listening evokes a sensation curiously similar to your eyes adjusting to a darkened room, with more and more melodic and vocal details revealing themselves slowly in the mix, leading to a strange sense of internal logic as exotic sounding sampled wind instruments and unearthly-sounding vocal chants bring things to their conclusion.
After this somewhat ferocious opening, ‘Medium’s Message’ manages to throw a complete curveball into proceedings by offering up a laidback two minute wander through stiff midtempo electro handclaps and burnished blues guitar chords that almost suggests Steely Dan going head-to-head with Scott Herren, before ten minute long epic ‘Deemployed’ takes things back out into menacing ambience, almost resembling the death throes of some malfunctioning video game system as it sends rippling bursts of retro laser gun sounds scattering over a distant backdrop of brooding bass drones. ‘464’ meanwhile offers an oasis away from the more ominous emotional territory that dominates much of this EP, sending delicate guitar chords cycling against an almost hypnotic backdrop of manipulated vocal chatter and opaque-sounding woodwinds, in what proves to be something of a false idyll as psyche-rock yells and furious metal fretwork begin to infiltrate proceedings in a manner that calls to mind Acid Mothers Temple’s unhinged third-eye squeegeeing. Finally, ‘Requia For Ethnic Cleansing’ brings this EP to a close with one of its more sonically-unsettling offerings, and manages to turn a fairly simple female vocal performance into a serious exercise in listener disorientation, simply by reversing critical enunciations and phasing the backing instrumentation. Like much of this intriguing EP, it manages to combine unexpected moments of rare beauty in equal doses with an underlying sense of dread, marking Overdose Kunst well apart from the usual generic mass of ‘dark ambient’ and noise-based practitioners.Non-Form Material Machine