Review: Junko Hiroshige & Pandu – A Collaboration (Gerpfast Kolektif, Feb 8)

In an effort to boost the relevance of my blog and give me more writing material (only one of those reasons is true, I’ll let you guess which), I’ve decided to start reviewing recently released albums. If you have any suggestions for records I should review, please comment on posts or send me an email!

The aptly titled A Collaboration is a dual effort by vocalist Junko Hiroshige of legendary noise band Hijokaidan and Pandu of the more recent project Bergegas Mati. Having loved 2004’s Pinknoise, a collaboration between Junko and noisician/improviser Mattin, I was excited to find this album had a similar format: Junko’s shrill, yipping vocals set against waves of piercing noise. Despite consisting only of a 21-minute track, it’s easily the best harsh noise release I’ve encountered this year, and possibly one of the best I’ve ever heard. Pandu’s contributions are dense and infernal, with chunks of distortion and ear-splitting frequencies roiling and shifting like a demented sonic river. Surprisingly, the piece is anything but static; the dynamics are actually very pronounced, making the track seem even shorter than it actually is – a good thing in this case, because once I’m finished I just want to listen again. It’s always refreshing to hear really great stuff in this genre, especially when it offers the pairing of a personal favorite and a new face.

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