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Clint Listing & Kenji Siratori - Death Explosions
Tuesday, January 01 2008 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: S:M:J63

Death Explosions

Artist: Split Album / Collaboration

Title: Death Explosions

Label: Hypermodern Japan

Genre: Industrial / Dark Ambient / Experimental

01 Part I
02 Part II

It seems these days that it’s almost impossible for a week to go by without another collaborative CD featuring Japanese cyberpunk author Kenji Siratori to be released – his current ubiquity is quite frankly starting to get annoying to say the least. It’s not as if there seems to be any variation in what he has to offer, apart from the same delivery, in Japanese, of endless reams of prose set against the musical backdrop of whoever is the collaborating artist of the week. Also it’s not as if I can understand Japanese either so I couldn’t vouch as to whether his prose is an enhancement or an act of vandalism. Once upon a time it may have been seen as exciting and cutting edge stuff – however this kind of constant exposure only serves to devalue whatever literary currency his work may have ultimately had. I have no doubt that he may be sincere; however I still get the feeling that somehow something is awry here, that it’s all shadows and dust, hollow and containing nothing of substance.

This is not meant to demean the contributions of the artists he has roped into providing a soundtrack for his monologues – I could argue that the background music may be the only aspect of the multitude of releases bearing Siratori’s name that has any intrinsic merit, at least the ones I have heard. Without that it is arguable that perhaps the sheen would tarnish very quickly. The element that wins through here for me is Listing’s contribution - the funereal ambient dirge, metamorphosing into noise and drone explosions, of Part I, followed by the oppressive grind and tempest of Part II. In all honesty I found that after a time I filtered out Siratori’s voice and concentrated solely on the expansive canvas that Listing was creating his sound-painting on. That voice element just became a series of indistinctly mumbled syllables and neither added nor subtracted from the whole; it was just there. In some respects it wouldn’t have mattered had it not been there; to my ears it certainly didn’t add anything new or substantial.

I am not one to disparage artist’s work unnecessarily – however, when said artist is in the habit of foisting the same thing on to us time after time it gets wearisome. KS seems to be dwelling in stasis, relying on the work of others to keep his name in the public arena. There’s something not quite right about that....


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