Genre: Harsh Noise / Ambient / Electronics
6 tracks with a total length of 66 minutes, this mathematical fact is probably well thought out by the master of Harsh Noise and Power Electronics. Kenji Siratori probably makes CD’s faster than Stalin made T34 tanks and just like with T34 tanks, the quality of these records doesn’t seem to go backwards at all. Out on SkullLine productions as a jewel case release, limited to only 50 pieces, Kenji surprises the listener with another piece of art with a lot more depth and diversity than other previous releases I’ve heard.
“Sickness for the 21st Century” arrived at the SkullLine store practically together with another release called “Death Creature”. Both of these CD’s have one main theme which is the known end to all, in other words; death. Although not the most original theme to choose for an album, as the underground Industrial scene is literally overflowing with this particular theme, it is always a good choice to cover as it can be interpreted on so many ways. Kenji surely shows this with “Sickness for the 21st Century” in the proper way, but leaving the actual underlying message for the listener to draw his or her conclusion. Although I haven’t had the privilege (yet) to have heard the counterpart of this release (Death Creature), the information supplied with this release implied that this is the louder and harsher part of the two. Having heard a proper amount of Kenji’s work, it is easily stated that “Sickness for the 21st Century” isn’t that harsh as older material, such as the Exterminator Inc. release.
People who listen to Kenji’s material on a daily basis probably know that Kenji’s solo work is much more diverse than what he delivers with split releases. “Sickness for the 21st Century” is easier on the ears than previous releases but holds various aspects which can be received with some strange faces or frowns. As a whole listen, the listener may experience that the Ambient on this release is constantly on the background throughout the CD. These Ambient parts, which are responsible for creating the more sensitive atmosphere, are overflowed with noise effects. The release may sound like a Ambient radio show which isn’t tuned in right. This aspect is another addition to the work of Kenji but can be seen as a rather failed experiment. The Ambient and Noise parts do not always mix the best way possible, creating two different listening experiences which the listener might enjoy or reject.
Definite stand-out on the release is the 4th track, which differs as a whole from the other tracks. “IV” is only Ambient and also seemingly points out the point on the record where the sound gets easier to withstand. This is the created ambience where I was talking about earlier, where Kenji has successfully given the release depth and a slight form of another dimension. This is where the listeners mind will create its opinion on the matter (death), and this is also the point where one is able to understand the screaming quote on the back of the packaging saying: “Explode your death”.
Yet another Kenji Siratori release which will be able to add something valuable in the listeners life or just another CD to set in the cabinet. It has struck me more than once that Kenji’s music isn’t for the weak-minded, and is an undeniable effort to listen to. “Sickness for the 21st Century” will confront and destroy and takes time to get used to, just as any other release from this Japanese master.