NHK: Program (Line, 2015)

February 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

NHK: Program

NHK: Program

Kouhei Matsunaga works under several aliases (mostly variations/combinations of the names NHK and Koyxen), but NHK proper is actually a duo project, and this is their first full-length album. It continues Matsunaga’s explorations of abstract dub, hip-hop and electronic rhythms, as well as harsh noise. The tracks here typically have a minimal, repetitive beat laced with harsh feedback, being pushed far into the red and embracing clipping and distortion (especially at sudden moments). Many of the tracks have constant tempos, but on “Ch.4” it’s slow and spaced out, so when beats sporadically arrive they feel like attacks. The skipping dub rhythm of “Ch.6” is less abrasive, but still coated in static. “Ch.8” goes down a long tunnel of a simple repetitive click which changes tempo a few times and harshly jabs noise bursts into the speakers. “Ch.10” has the most coherent hip-hop-influnced rhythm here, recalling Matsunaga’s work on labels such as Wordsound. The album offers a fresh perspective on combining minimal rhythms and noise, in even different ways than previous work by the artist.

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