Toshimaru Nakamura – Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9)

A unique instrument pioneered by Tokyo’s Toshimaru Nakamura, The No-Input Mixing Board is a mixing console (and, in the capable hands of Nakamura, an electronic instrument) within which no external audio input exists. Sound is rendered and powered by its own internal feedback, and what began as a kind of internal tinnitus, a high-pitched noise restricted to its own internal range, has gradually blossomed into something more rhythmic, even harmonic.

Like the Big Bang, Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9) is a case of something coming from nothing. It’s a wild, unpredictable instrument, but Nakamura has, to a degree, tamed it. He can semi-control it, but the sound is still wild and almost primal at heart. The opening rhythm lives at the front of the track, sending out electronic shockwaves and deep wells of bass. Disturbed tones crackle at the edges of the track, as if on the point of tearing themselves apart, but Nakamura manages to reel these feisty sounds in just when they appear to be stepping over the line. Unruly behaviour will not be tolerated. It’s surprisingly constrained, managing to be both deeply rhythmic and deeply experimental, seeming to bend possibilities.

Playful while being confined, the rhythms seem to loop in their own minds and machinations like ghosts in the machine, never really developing or maturing in spite of their unpredictable nature, but instead cycling and shifting with subtle changes in tone and delivery. The thoroughly deranged and dangerous bass cuts through anything – a live wire with a high voltage – and the instantaneous, surprisingly coherent rhythms which appear from it are exceptionally cool. The bass buzzes like a chainsaw in 1970’s Texas, somehow coarsening the record, dropping it into an oil slick’s distorted texture. The equipment itself gets wet, and that makes it dangerous. Safety warnings are thrown away.

Nakamura has recorded over one hundred pieces of music using this equipment as a base, so he has experience on his side. Years of experience give rise to mastery. Re-Verbed (No-Input Mixing Board 9) would not be possible without those years of experience.

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