Satoshi Kanda/Nick Hoffman – Split, Nick Hoffman – Anima (Pilgrim Talk, 2010)

Posted in Nick Hoffman, Pilgrim Talk, Satoshi Kanda by HOLIDAYS on June 11, 2010

Satoshi Kanda/Nick Hoffman – Split

This C47 begins with Satoshi Kanda’s “Two Tracks Recorded Simultaneously”, which begins interestingly enough with each stereo channel playing two completely different styles of noise- one rather soft and subtle ambiance, and the other more abrasive and  sporadic. This goes on for a little while until a very mysterious silence takes over- for better or worse- for quite sometime. I don’t mind it, but it certainly had me troubleshooting the tape and my player for a little while before coming to grips with the fact that the tape sure enough wasn’t over, as the audio comes back in and concludes the side with a long drone. All of which- according to the label page- is done with milk bottles, which actually took me by surprise having heard the tape, then later read the description.

Hoffman’s track is overall much more abrasive, starting with a back and forth between abrasive assaults of distortion and busting low end, to eerie bursts of sound and crackling- a lot of which seems to abruptly stop in a wide range of volumes. Half way through, the quieter moments begin to very work well as they arise anticipation- reminiscent of seeing lightning and awaiting the thunder- unlike the predecessor which just struck me as confusing. The rest of the track is more minimal and less energetic and distorted (aside from a few moments).

Definitely worth a listen. I probably could have appreciated Kanda’s side a bit more had I known what I was getting into- or simply relaxing and letting the tape play out- instead of dicking around with my player like a chicken without a head. But it certainly doesn’t take away from Hoffman’s track, which makes this a great tape. Maybe both sides should be played simultaneously? Support the label- buy two of them and try it out. The release is a C47 with great artwork on orange paper. Very simple, but very enjoyable.

Nick Hoffman – Anima

Anima is more like the Regosphere/Hoffman split I reviewed around a week ago in sound and instrumentation, unlike the split above. Again on a C47- this tape is very eerie and can be a bit unsettling. It seems to be influenced by a Lovecraft quote recited inside the artwork from The Rats in the Walls, stating “I heard voices, and yowls, and echoes, but above all there gently rose that impions, insiduious scurring; gently rising, rising, as a stiff bloated corpse gently rises above an oily river that flows under undless onyx bridges to a black, putrid sea.”

The quote is a mouthful, but just the first line is enough, as this tape certainly gives an eerie vibe like that of voices, yowls, and echoes rising. While the idea of a corpse rising from a river as it attributes itself to is a great mental image, when I heard this, it was more like opening a basement door to an abandoned psych ward and finding a tortured jazz band stuck in purgatory.

As stated above, the entire release is minimal in instrumentation, with the first side- “Earth Altar”- giving sounds of a trumpet and tortured, desperate vocals (or simply “voices”)- either separate, or layered on top of one another- it’s haunting. The second half of the track is very minimal, with even creepier trumpet and vocals softly coming in and out, as well as sound sounds of shackles and desperate wimpering. The second side, titled “Into the Clouds” is where I’ve taken the “jazz band” term from- while still given some squealing trumpet sounds as heard on the first side- they’re now accompanied by drawn out drum hits. The percussion definitely adds something to the release in its entirety, and gives me, personally, a whole new level of appreciation for the tape as a whole. The percussion becomes more a part of the music towards the end of the track, and concludes the tape wonderfully.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who digs minimalism- more specifically, acts like Graveyards, as that’s what it reminds me of a lot. It’s a excellent release with great, simple artwork, and I can’t wait to let it age on my shelf until the leaves start to fall in autumn, when I’ll definitely be bring it back out for a few more spins in my tape deck. Get this one!

Satoshi Kanda: satoshi.kanda [at] gmail [dot] com,

Nick Hoffman: bumbrelladonkey [at] hotmail [dot] com,

Label Page:


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