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Buzz on the Moon / Reviews

By Anonymous
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The Alcohol Seed

"The Japanese sonic-collage artist, Leo Okagawa has included a note on the packaging for Buzz on the Moon that reads: make sounds degrade by repeating playback. I’m sure it’s just meant to reveal a bit about his process but I can’t help but interpret it as a demand, or at very least advice to his unassuming audience. Certainly, this music is not to be taken lightly, compositionally sitting pretty close to Sulidae’s album, but Buzz on the Moon is a far noisier, unnerving experience. Okagawa’s noise resides in raw tones, presumably degraded through an idiosyncratic playback system that summons the spectres that dwell within peculiar approaches to sound. There is an excellent flow here. I never feel rushed along the experience of listening, the abrasive sections coming and going relatively quickly (as they should), and the meditative passages given the appropriate amount of time to become known and then evolve. Reminds me of this Alfredo Costa Monteiro & Ben Owen album from way back when. 'Power-Electroacoustics.'”

The Sound Projector

"A buzzy cassette instead – the first track “Meet you at the Corner!” is a collage of droning buzz pieces stitched together one after the other like carriages following a steam engine. Even so, whether heard quietly or loudly, this track has a feeling of self-contained serenity even in its most “noisy” engine-puttering or factory machine lathe-threading moments. Subsequent tracks are not much different from the first and the wonder is that they were not all combined into the one piece in which nature-origin field recordings and those of environments created and shaped by humans are compared and contrasted as to their textures, any structural qualities they may have and the potential impact on listeners."

Vital Weekly

"Leo Okagawa’s previous release (see Vital Weekly 1076) found him, at least for me, in the realm of noise collage brothers Joe Colley and Francisco Meirino, but with a steadier flow in his material, and not always the harsh cut-up approach. Okagawa seems to sharing a similar interest in obsolete electronics on the verge of breaking down. That’s where he steps in and does his recordings. The cover of his new release also gives away another clue as to how he works and that is “Make sounds degrade by repeating playback”. The recordings he does are highly obscure indeed; field recordings? Dying machinery? Electrical lines? It just isn’t easy to say, but I do like his Alvin Lucier like approach of playing back and forth sounds and use the re-recording process in what I assume different places to alter the sounds.

Okagawa uses the collage approach again and again this is in a more flowing form; when his cuts are more abrupt they are usually followed by something similar and not, as a form of shock value, but something very loud and abrasive. In his compositions however Okagawa takes care of a dynamic approach, going from quiet to loud and back again, over the course of his longer pieces, best exemplified in his ’50 Knots Under The Sea’. All of this degrading of sounds makes that the sound is sometimes a bit muffled, like it has been covered with quite a bit of dust. The music is quite obscure but also captivating."

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