Monday, May 9, 2011

G&P Review: Winters in Osaka

Winters in Osaka
Mutual Collapse
Mutual Collapse, Winters in Osaka’s latest static-stained assault on your higher rational functions, is like listening to EVP recordings made in Hell. Ghastly voices and groans creak by amid scouring waves of tortured FX box noise and fast, fleeting glimpses of tortured-souled humanity. I bet “Baby Pop” is the kind of jam Pinhead the Cennobite likes to put on when he wants to relax after a long day of showing people what pain’s face really looks like.
I bought Winters in Osaka’s Swarm of Witches a few years ago by happy accident because of its list of collaborators from bands like Spazz and Brutal Truth (who return this outing as well), mistakenly assuming it would be more power of the violence rather than electronics persuasion. Mistaken conceptions aside, I found myself enjoying it more than I would have expected. Not that it’s a regular listen or anything. Mutual Collapse improves the plot with a less directly abrasive sound. Instead, it relies on subtly satanic machinations, attacking through indirection and slowly suffocating atmosphere. It’s a far more effective approach, in my opinion. The almost languorous atmosphere, building up to the 20 minute “Stairwell,” reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson saying in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that he would tune a TV to a dead channel and chill out to the white noise when riding out a bad trip. “Toll” sounds like field recordings of some disaster made through a fog of dreamy distance and fading memory. The anxiety is there, but it’s less immediate, the dangers unknown and only marginally understood.
There’s a lot of ways power electronics albums can go horrifically wrong, overstaying its welcome being chief among the most common sins. But Mutual Collapse hovers at a friendly half an hour or so and keeps most songs tight and focused. It knows the horror you see from the corner of your eye is far more evocative than the bloody wreckage splashed up for close perusal.

[Full disclosure: WiO sent me a review copy.]


Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

I'm commenting just to keep this post warm. It looked so lonely.

I tried this Winters in Osaka thing once. It is basically one million percent not my bag, but the writeup seems spot on.

Andrew Childers said...

i can't jive with the super noisy stuff like straight merzbow, but there's enough song structure to wio that about once a year i really jones to jam with it.

and thanks for helping out the sadly, lonely little post.

Survivalist said...

this is my fasvourite WiO release by far, it feels like Adam's found his direction on this one

L Dram said...

Andrew have you heard Adam's mincecore band?

andrew said...

i've got some paucity posts planned in the next few months.

Alex said...

Winters In Osaka are good, but Paucities just irked me as a nuisance maybe it was the lo fi sound that prevented me from hearing anything good. Might be a stupid question, but if they are New Wave of American mincecore, what bands were in the first wave? Not sure I know any state side mincecore bands.