Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ground Zero - Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver.1.28 (1996)

| Avant-Garde | Experimental Rock/Jazz/Electronic |
| Noise |

Ground Zero is a japanese Avant-Garde band, fronted by Otomo Yoshihide and the experimental trio "Altered States", with sometimes the addition of another musicians. Their music is notable for the high use of daily-life sounds sample, with high improvisation upon it, which can take form of any range from rock, jazz, electronic beats or even other styles. They take their samples from everywhere they find that may sound nostalgic to the modern human. Tv programs, radio, advertising, movies, documentaries, interview, cars and traffic jams, industry and fabric noise, national anthems, military march drums, spaceship launching... It's amazing the irony their songs have. They're always striking against modern culture, the american-way of and the modern life, big companies and megacorps, and, mostly, politics. The Musique Concrète influence on Ground Zero is clearly visible.

"Revolutionary Pekinese Opera" is my favorite album from them. Although it might not be their best, It's certainly their most beautiful. It criticizes mostly politicians like Mao Tsé-Tung, the imperialism from the USA and the west-Europe, and revolutionary 'n' terrorists groups. A real post-modern record. The irony is highly visible on the "Paraiso" tracks, where they fill them with advertising and modern-life sounds and noises. The first is a mad, confusing and vertiginous song, where you just get lost behind all those samples. Well, it might remind you a walking by the streets, specially if you live on big cities like Tokyo or New York. The second is filled with silent, with a few samples, notably a Disney theme song sample. Well, after listening to the whole album you should get the meaning of all this. And if you don't get captivated by this record, I think you should review your concepts about the modern world.

Putting the conceptual side apart for a little, the musical part of "Revolutionary Pekinese Opera" is as stunning. The samples actually join hands with the song, instead of just being background conceptual noise. You might sometimes think that the samples are, in fact, part of the music, and that's Ground Zero objective. The skilled trio "Altered States" provide this record a highly experimental set of Noise, Rock, Jazz, Folk, Classical and regional music, and even electronic beats to the songs, always being headed and guided by the genius Otomo Yoshihide. There're lots of invited musicians for "Revolutionary Pekinese Opera", and they use every instrument they can find, from basic guitar and bass to beat-machines, saxophones, trumpet, pianos and the japanese shamisen.

Catalog: ReR GZ1 (ReR Megacorp)

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