In Collaboration | Maurizio Bianchi, Nobu Kasahara and Hitoshi Kojo 'The Epidemic Symphony No.9' (Octpia, 2006)

Do you hear that?
It is the sound of the impending storm rolling in from the distance. Slowly the sky fills with dark clouds and droplets of rain speckle the concrete. With it comes feelings of dread but also rejuvenation, because water replenishes the landscape and almost always afterward the sun bursts through the clouds. The storm's symphony instills an array of fixed emotions on the inhabitants of the land below, effortlessly transitioning from one to the next. Melancholia to Fear to more Melancholia to Satisfaction, and any and all the things we feel in between.

Maurizio Bianchi, Nobu Kasahara and Hitoshi Kojo
The Epidemic Symphony No.9 (Octpia, 2006)

A three day symphony.
The first day harkens the intransigent efforts brought forth by Organum, with Bianchi's usual clamour ironed out into a delicate fluctuation of muted noise. A stunning opener. Day two caters more towards the old school Bianchi, beginning with a mash up of groaning electronics, sputtery synth swells, and schizophrenic activity, though the languid execution suppresses any chance at a deafening cacophony. Instead the track sort of putters forward eventually being submerged in a slow pulsating drone. A slightly unusual approach maybe, but it works. Day three makes its intentions clear from the opening seconds, a simmering blissed-out drone piece peppered with small flurries of electroacoustic detritus.

By the noise Bianchi is capable of, and Kasahara–who has apparently collaborated with The New Blockaders–The Epidemic Symphony No.9, aside from a few jarring moments, is a surprisingly tame effort. An attribute that, if anything, is the album's strong point. Thanks to the hand of Hitoshi Kojo–who's solo efforts are always impressive yet unfortunately largely overlooked–The Epidemic Symphony No.9 stands as an exceptional release.

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