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The music of Lars Graugaard and Keisuke Matsuno is an unusual meeting of unalike backgrounds that delightedly converge into a rich and coherent musical vision. Keisuke’s electrifying sonic textures and effortless soaring lines are juxtaposed by Lars’ intense and intricate rhythms and timbral contrasts that assimilate, expand and endlessly develop, adapt, alter, modify and transform. The guitar is buried deep in the electronic mesh of realtime alterations and processing yet always standing free in an open place, right in the middle of the ongoings.

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At times with the hardest punch and at others with the gentlest touch, the music is in a constant state of search-and-encounter, of pursuing all possibilities and leaving no stone untouched. The contrast between the tracks evidence the large palette of these musical soul-mates and a track always establish, develop and consume the musical propositions to its fullest. Nurtured by techno, industrial, rave avant-garde and various jazz forms in a display of sophisticated production skills that is integrated into the performance strategy, this release is firmly situated in a warm and very forward place where musics concur and any music may emerge.

Composed by Lars Graugaard & Keisuke Matsuno

Interactive computer and electric guitar

Recorded October 27, 2015 at James L. Dolan Recording Studio, NYU Steinhardt, New York, USA
Technical assistant Matthias Veit Anton
Mix and mastered by Lars Graugaard at James L. Dolan Recording Studio, NYU Steinhardt, New York, USA

Artwork by Vladyslav Kamenskyy

Also present elsewhere in this issue under the guise of Lars From Mars (see sezione ritmi), the Dane Lars Graugaard processes all sounds on his laptop. In his collaboration with Matsuno on electric guitar he provides the framework for an avant-improvisation that is marked by twisted leaps and unpronounceable rhythms that are pierced by electrical-electronic lashings and layered with thick sonorities so unusual that we seem to be hearing a Zappa score played by Otomo Yoshihide’s Ground Zero. Lars’ ability to juggle elements and moments of very different moods is truly striking, but even more so is Matsuno – Japanese of origin, Berliner by birth and New Yorker by referral, as he tears out from the instrument the most extravagant, distraught, unheard-within-the-unheard sounds: for instance, take only the final track WHA?, a terrific tour-de-force of pulsing and spatial ambient-dub that lets you recline on notes of chords as falling snow. An excellent display that heralds truly unpredictable developments.


And if we were to select the most amusing release of the quarter, in an unlikely genre? To my right, the Dane LARS GRAUGAARD and an interactive computer, on my left, the Berliner (as the name suggests) KEISUKE MATSUNO and his electric guitar, center, a clash as unexpected as welcome. It’s called ‘Invisible’ and it’s on the exciting label Clang Records. This is the kind where crazy math-rock falls in love with a soundtrack to a vintage video game gone astray. PacMan lost in a bukkake is the style. Where the mischievous Oneohtrix Point Never sends files to Tyondai Braxton on another galaxy, where Goldorak appears like a bull under hypnosis? Where a thousand collisions per second cheerfully builds up an ecstasy that reaches below the garter belt. Where false percussion instantly shake your anus fifteen centimeters in, and you smell so good you cannot do without it. Soon out on, bareback.

‘Invisible’ finds Lars Graugaard and Keisuke Matsuno putting ‘interactive computer’ and electric guitar through their paces, and it’s a very different proposition to Graugaard’s 2015 album ‘Venus’. Instead of carefully structured and sequenced pieces dispersed by moments of quiet delicacy, this album’s five tracks oftentimes make an all-out assault on the senses. The guitars are subject to some heavy processing, yielding treated sounds that sound more synthesised than played, while the computer-generated sounds are like no instrument of any kind.

Clicky, glitchy scratches of sound provide rhythms in lieu of conventional beats, and woozy, subsonic bass notes worm around amidst clustering bursts of noise and frayed static. Howling drones with serrated edges scrape deep sonic ravines, undulating and oscillating before crashing in sonic supernovae.

Having reviewed this album, penned for a late 2015 release, and having been subsequently unable to find details of it online, I’m perplexed. If / when it becomes available, I do recommend finding it and giving it a proper listen. Meanwhile, it seems to be truly invisible.

Released on April 22nd, 2k16 via the highly active Clang imprint is Invisible, the latest collaboration of label staple Lars Graugaard and Keisuke Matsuno who are teaming up for a five tracks and 46 minutes album here. And for sure this is an album that can only be described as an exceptional and unique piece as the pair of producers is fusing two sound aesthetics which are usually seen as coming from opposite sides of the sonic spectrum – solo electric guitar playing and chaotic, highly digital computer generated noises. Although being rhythmically complex and detailed in production the combination of these elements seems, more often than once, pretty much random and hard to embrace in album format with the exception of the Illbient-referencing 95.6% in which a classic dub-related bassline provides at least a formal structure for the free improvisation and overwhelming sonic richness happening in various layers of the tune whilst Travelling To Infinity brings in a sweet, lugubrious quality for broken, post-industrial leftovers of what was once known as humanity and therefore stands out as most fascinating and valuable track featured on Infinity. Finally WHA? is, if one wants to put it like that, on a perverted Progressive Rock tip and concludes an album which can be seen as a long-play piece that serves a pretty unconventional menu which is possibly rather meant to be seen and experienced live and direct than being consumed in your living room or via headphones.

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