Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Kazuo Imai & Atsuhiro Ito

A loud, buzzing stew of electrical light as noise and convulsive electric guitar squall.

Imai is one of the most vibrant, urgent improvisers We’ve ever seen.  Meticulously schooled, with a staggering technical ability and under the attack of an extended battery of new approaches (bamboo sticks jammed between bridge and strings, wooden blocks dropped on the fretboard) can make an acoustic guitar sing out a deep and emotional intensity, and human truth. His electric guitar work is equally as thrilling, while packing a more immediate and form-mangling punch, as his steamrollering cut with Incapacitants earlier this year bares witness; not so much a meeting between electronic and guitar, more an ear thrust up against a jet turbine.

Joining Imai is Atsuhiro Ito, a visual artist who’s deep affinity for fluorescent light has lead him to explore the buzzing, rasping sound of light bulbs and their internal circuitry, and to the creation of his own home made instrument, the Optron.  An array of pedals hooked up to a flickering fluorescent bulb, it might sound like an odd way to give vent to your musical urges, but its given Ito a musical voice charged with a buzzing ferocity, and a unique and visually compelling take on performance.

  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0