steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Government Alpha

"Seventh Continent" CD


Genre: harsh noise

Tokyo, Japan

March 2010

Ah, the sweet rush of harsh noise. Few current acts have been doing this as long and consistently as Yasutoshi Yoshida, his being a journey that began in the first half of the nineties and continues to this day. Government Alpha happens to be one of the first noise acts that I was exposed to, and it is truly inspiring to witness him still churning out solid, energizing harsh noise this far down the line. And Seventh Continent, which throbs and contorts wildly over its seven hefty tracks, is an exceptional behemoth of a noise record. It packs the punch of a luminous supernova, making for a pulverizing release of impulsive yet calculated abrasion. And it's a beautiful record at that – the superb Dotsmark label has really invested a lot in this release, supplementing it with several wonderful, full-colour collages of cultural miscellany, as well as magnificent cover art of the same breed. It's fittingly busy visual accompaniment to this exercise in manic pedal warfare, which attacks with a sense of extreme catastrophe and refuses to let up, even momentarily. Over tracks like “Teasing District” and “Cape of Regrets,” Yoshida never remains supine – this noise isn't even momentarily left to drone or slowly build; its layers are constantly being dropped in and ripped out from underneath, earning the press materials' categorization as “extreme harsh noise.” There are no breaks, no time for thought; the chaos rips and whirls seamlessly until the last breath of its gasping finale, “Vague Parting,” which wraps up the record with a tormented ten minutes of baneful mayhem before concluding in a vicious stutter. Allowing the listener, finally, a moment to respire.

government alpha's myspace

Not from this album:

Michael Tau

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2010]