Monday 13 March 2017, 7.30pm
Fantastic double bill with two great figures from the extreme end of Japan's avant-noise scene in the form of Taku Sugimoto and Junko. Both artists have a rich history of solo and collaborative performance, and have honed distinct and multifaceted sonic approaches that belie the stripped-back nature of the tools they use (guitar and voice, respectively). It's a welcome treat to have them both return to OTO on the same night.
Taku Sugimoto is a Japanese guitarist. He initially gained attention in the late 1990s for his restrained, melodic playing, unusual in the world of free improvisation. Critic Bruce Russell describes this era of Sugimoto's music by writing: “Sugimoto is perhaps the pre-eminent stylist on the guitar ... He brings a golden glow to every session he partakes in, having abandoned amped up noise in favour of a much more introspective and calligraphic style of play.” Around 2002 his music became increasingly abstract, all but eliminating melody and featuring extended periods of silence.
He has collaborated with other Japanese musicians involved in the Onkyo movement, such as Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. He has also collaborated with musicians from European free improvisation scenes, notably trombonist Radu Malfatti and guitarist Keith Rowe.
Junko Hiroshige has performed with Hijokaiden as a vocalist since 1982 (Chutter, 2014). She has appeared on all official Hijokaidan records since (Discogs, n.d.). She is known for her powerful, relentless voice, and confrontational voice (Chutter, 2014). The uniqueness of her voice has recently gained increasing Western attention, and Junko has been involved in a number of recent collaborations with musicians from outside the Japanese noise scene.
Junko has collaborated and performed with the French industrial/Noise guitarist Michael Henritzi (of Dustbreeders) on multiple occassions (Bell, 2015). Junko’s 2002 solo album was released by Élevage De Poussière, a French label who have also released Dustbreeders EPs (Discogs, n.d.b). In 2012, they released the live album Live/Dead with the Belgian experimental label, Les Champs Brûlent. Junko has also worked with the Scottish noise artist Lea Cummings (Kylie Minoise), releasing Nature in 2012, with British label Dirtier Promotions. In 2013, Junko released Sans Palatine Uvula with Sutcliffe Jugend (featuring Kevin Tomkins, formerly of Whitehouse). Junko has released two records with the Basque experimentalist, Mattin. - Mapping Japanese Noise