Review: Government Alpha – Pathogens (ochiai soup, Jun 17)

I’ve been listening to Yasutoshi Yoshida’s Government Alpha project for as long as I’ve been interested in noise music. Venomous Cumulus Cloud was one of the first harsh noise records I heard, even before I discovered future standbys like C.C.C.C. and T.E.F., but I also never lost interest in new releases as I did with Merzbow et al. Yoshida’s recent works aren’t simply rehashes of the classic high-octane pedal abrasion that made him famous; instead, you can tell he’s still very much interested in exploring and refining the craft, approaching each album with a unique methodology. Though I’m a fan of the (relatively) more reserved proceedings of Arrogant Ghosts and Insanityranny, I’m grateful that Yoshida has turned back to his eardrum-shredding roots with stuff like last year’s Vandalism and now Pathogens. The two “Regenerative Signal” tracks wrestle entropy from simple feedback loops while “Visualization” gets right down to business with densely-packed waves of caustic distortion, high-pitched squall, and iconic GA electronic oscillations. This latter track is easily one of the best examples of harsh noise I’ve heard in a long time and really reminds me of why I love this stuff so much in the first place, endless depths of enthralling textures and viscerally impacting chaos. Another unsurprisingly fantastic release from one of noise music’s most stalwart presences.