[pe33]Carlos Giffoni
Lo Que Solo Se puede Expresar a Traves Del Silencio y Una Mirada de Ayer
[pe32]Luv Rokambo
[pe31]Inu Yaroh
Takede from Nostradums Live
[pe30]Noring / Day
[pe29]360 Sound
A Scratch on the Surface
[pe28]Hair and Nails
III
[pe27]Shlomo Artzi Orchestra
Pizza Little Party
[pe26]Kangaroo Note
Soundness
[pe25]Fukktron / Hair and Nails
[pe24]Jorge Castro & Carlos Giffoni
Guitarras del Olvido y Pensamientos Dimensionales
[pe23]Naoaki Miyamoto
Live at 20000V
[pe22]Various Artists
Analogous Indirect
[pe21]Prototype Earthborne / Wren & Noring / EHI
Audio Cleansing
[pe20]Cornucopia / Musique:Motpol
60 Years
[pe19]William IX
Dawn Variations
[pe18]Zanoisect / Sistrum
Day Fills Night The Way I Walk / Furukizu
[pe17]Jorge Castro
The Joys and Rewards of Repetition
[pe16]Prototype Earthborne
Wiseman Flux Disintegration
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Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura -
CD (Philadelphia / Tokyo)



I
II
III
IV




Toshimaru Nakamura - no-input mixing board
Nick Millevoi - guitar
Johnny DeBlase - bass
Ricardo Lagomasino - drums

Reviews:
(Pitchfork) The phrase “free rock” has always been a little suspect. Jazz’s evolution into sound untethered to beat, structure, or melody was so natural it seemed inevitable, but the concept of rock breaking apart from one-two-three-four seems a bit oxymoronic: Without rhythm, is it really rock? Luckily, every era of the form has been dotted with exceptions that demolish the rule, from Träd, Gräs och Stenar to Blue Humans to Dead C. The last two albums by Philadelphia trio Many Arms took strides toward joining that idiosyncratic pantheon, but their new collaboration with Japanese sound artist Toshimaru Nakamura blasts them onto the free-rock front lines. Where Many Arms previously toyed with planned compositions—some of their songs were dizzyingly tight—here they abandon all semblance of pre-arrangement, spurred by Nakamura to hurtle full-bore into the pursuit of chaotic epiphanies. Flying guitar, epileptic bass, shattering drums, and the unclassifiable noise of Nakamura’s “no-input” setup (he wires his mixer in a loop so that it’s only sound source is itself) all congeal into neck-breaking hyperactivity. It’s music that seeks the sun by exploding toward it. - Marc Masters

(Sound Projector) We’ve been keen on Toshimaru Nakamura’s music for at least 15 years now, ever since the wonderful Japanorama events organised by Ed Baxter first graced the UK and presented his famed no-input mixing board in the context of Sachiko M and her empty synth, Otomo Yoshihide’s then-new reduced playing style, and many other futuristic musicians. Since then Nakamura has been well-represented in the so-called EAI sphere, evidence of which can be found in assorted group combinations on the Erstwhile and ErstLive labels. Quite a change perhaps to find him doing it with a rock group, as can be heard to great effect on Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura (PUBLIC EYESORE PE131), with four long recordings he made with Many Arms in Philadelphia in 2013. Actually Many Arms – a trio of fellows from New York and Philly who play guitar, bass, and drums – are more than just a rock band, and make intelligent, single-minded forays into free-form playing to create highly energetic music which resembles free jazz as much as punk rock, and they play games with unexpected rhythms and melodies, besides all their inventive use of amplifier feedback and sustained guitar tones. This record would seem to represent a pretty ideal pairing, were it not for the fact that on first listen it’s a bit hard to make out Nakamura’s contributions. For the first two tracks, it feels as though the Americans pretty much dominate the pitch like Joe Namath to the power of three; on ‘I’, they’re raving like avant-garde frat-boys at a beer-keg party, and while on ‘II’ the hormonal power is more subdued, I can’t quite disentangle Toshi’s vibrant burr from the more aggressive feedback hums emanating out of Nick Millevoi’s guitar. No matter, as both of these are supremely exciting cuts, and may also indicate how the influence and lessons of Keiji Haino are still being digested and mutated in the USA. ‘III’ is more of a recognisable collaboration among the musicians, a fascinating and innovative sprawl where Toshimaru’s electronic eructations are nicely balanced by restrained free-form melancholic plucks and keening cries from the guitarist, while drummer Ricardo Legomasino is quietly running an express train in the background. The Onkyo purity of Japanorama becomes a distant memory when listening to this contemporary hybrid…there’s no space, no air, just a thick wodge of suffocating but multi-dimensional noise that does much to advance us beyond recognisable genres or categories. ‘IV’ is more or less in a similar place, but it goes on for 18 minutes and grows into terrifyingly manic proportions of hysteria, screaming and jangling effects that will guarantee to shatter the psyche of all who come near this poisonous cloud of horror. An astonishing and exhausting collaboration; I’d like to learn how more concerning it came about, but apparently Toshimaru just flew over there for the express purpose of working with these three. For those with an appetite for more from Many Arms, be sure to look out for their two albums on Tzadik. From June 2015. - Ed Pinsent

(Disaster Amnesiac) On occasion, Disaster Amnesiac worries about Public Eyesore/Eh? honcho Bryan Day. Between what I'd gather is a constant production schedule for his labels, and keeping his Bad Jazz group going (including tours), where does he find time to rest? Seriously, Bryan, make sure and drink plenty of water! Thankfully for the Noise/Improvised Music/huh? fan, all of this effort pays off in recordings such as Public Eyesore's newest, the Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura disc. Over four simply named pieces, I-IV, this powerful quartet blasts, pounds, and sizzles its way out of the speakers with the fury of Punk Rock, the demonstrative battle energy of Metal, and the control of Jazz. Guest Nakamura, on no-input mixing board, provides a lot of that sizzle, as his sounds remain often in the background, subtly coloring the side areas and crevices of the overall sound field. Listen to his work of II for what has struck this listener as the best overall example of that action within this disc. Disaster Amnesiac figures that "politeness" does not hold much weight with a lot of the more aggro improvisors, but I definitely get a sense that Nakamura's approach here was somewhat framed by that notion. Perhaps he didn't want to bring too much attention to what he was doing within the overall group sound? It's not so much that he's timid, as it is that he blends into the maelstrom whipped up by Many Arms. Maelstrom, indeed! Philadelphia-based Many Arms, according the to the Public Eyesore press sheet that came with this disc, have spent a lot of time on tour themselves, and this certainly comes through in their sound. Drummer Ricardo Lagomasino often goes full octopus mode, whirling his arms and legs around the kit's components as his poly-rhythmic layering propels the music into highly energetic zones. Bassist Johnny DeBlase plays and incredible solo on IV, really wresting center stage for the four strings, but equal to the other players throughout. Nick Millevoi on guitar pulls industrial sized scraping and tonal blasts, along with cool cello sounds on III. In a word, Many Arms plays. Their energy and intensity has made Disaster Amnesiac think of Tony Williams Lifetime at times, almost as if that band had dispensed with their "prettier" stuff and just delved right down into the well of delicious, noisy, messed up improvisational whoop ass. Many Arms fucking bring it! On the engineering side, Eugene Lew deserves much credit for capturing the many layers of instrumental depth that Many Arms and Nakamura poured out during this one day (!) session. The listener can hear all elements with the clarity that Disaster Amnesiac is sure that the players desired from their respective axes. Within the past few days, I've seen on social media that Bryan Day is currently planning a trip to the Philippines in order to document what he's told me is a burgeoning and good Improvised/Noise scene developing there. Disaster Amnesiac looks forward to tasting some of that lumpia, but, in the meantime, I'll be jamming Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura at those times when a cleansing aural blast is required! - Mark Pino

(Kathodik) Di brutto, sul muso. In libera e brutalizzante congiunzione live (Philadelphia 2013). Many Arms giocano in casa (chitarra/basso/batteria, Nick Millevoi, Johnny DeBlase, Ricardo Lagomasino). Gentili gentili, metallico/ripetitivi, divorati da parassiti elettroacustici ed espansi in nevrosi dronante. Uno sputo spettacolare (l'arte del disfacimento aggressivo). Iperattività e stati di tesa agitazione. Frenesie free-jazzcore, smerigliatrici noise, isterie no wave, hard a poltiglia, in sgaloppo galopp, a non tralasciar radicalità contemporanea e zuffe grind. L'orientale assorto, ci arriva da Tokyo, a spippolar fra minchiate sfrigolanti, feedback ottusi e sinewaves di cartavetrata (grana fina). E la sua manipolazione no-input, ben s'inserisce nello sfascio circostante, suggerendo traiettorie e intrufolandosi pigolante. Il dito indica la vittima, tanto poi a fare il lavoro sporco ci pensano gli altri. Ok lo ammetto, avrei voluto esserci. - Marco Carcasi

(Decoder) Many Arms continue their series of collaborative LPs, shifting from freer-jazz pastures to pure noise indulgences on their latest album with Toshimaru Nakamura (Public Eyesore). Nakamura is an accomplished Japanese no-input mixer and experimental guitarist, and he opens decidedly darker spaces for the aggressive jazz trio. Nakamura is the second notable collaborator with Many Arms, having also paired with saxophonist Colin Fisher for last year’s Suspended Definition (Tzadik); the trio recorded this session with Nakamura during the experimentalist’s spring 2013 visit to the USA. While last year’s album certainly stands on its own in terms of creativity, songwriting, and execution, in the context of Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura, Suspended Definition constructed or established the group’s boundaries necessary to advance the sprawling noise from their collaboration with Nakamura. One can listen to these albums in reverse-chronological order to feel the expansion of restraints or structures within Many Arms’ songwriting. On Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura, there are 18 minutes of swelling, dense assaults that surround a half hour of rather wide-open, undefined noise by the collaborators. While “I” opens the disc with an unending blast of four lead parts, the closing minutes of “IV” are more telling for the disc’s arc. This is not necessarily a narrative produced by the quartet, but rather a set of atmospheres, spaces, or movements. The highly populated group performances present a stressing threshold test that fatigues their listener for a winding series of individual showcases and progressive exhibitions. It’s not fair to call this two completely different albums, but rather a manipulation of the high-frequency potential of Nakamura and the lead-playing abilities of each of the three Many Arms players. Playing together, Nakamura must bend his circuitry to its maximum effort to emerge behind the walls of riffs, which makes his clearer, freer performances in the middle of the disc more exotic, refreshing, and texturally pleasing. It is not a negative judgment to call the dense group performances taxing or boundary pushing: there is literally a noise capacity that Many Arms and Nakamura reach, and they gleefully traverse its line as frequently as possible. Nakamura’s noise can be difficult to capture at first listen, but repeated encounters reveal frequencies and circuitry work that are quite diverse. At times, Nakamura’s performances are nothing more than a buzz hiding beneath everything else, while he arranges specific lines or phrasing at other points. The hum that opens “II” grab the listener’s bones, digging into their ear with a calculated and persistent buzz. By contrast the shifting acrobatics evident on “IV,” or the flickering canine-ranged pitches on “III” surprise the listener with unexpected tones. Repeated listens benefit the ears by allowing the range of those textures to emerge, and I’m not even sure I’ve captured them properly to this point. Make no mistake about it, this is not simply a “gimmick” to add collaborators to the core trio of Many Arms, as the group definitely benefits from their work with instruments, players, and pallets that change the focal point of the organic compositions performed by the group. In this regard, bassist Johnny Deblase, drummer Ricardo Lagomasino, and guitarist Nick Millevoi present a straight-forward, slightly over-driven group sound that nicely plays against Nakamura’s noise. Isolating the no-input mixing, the group sound “live” and fierce, presenting tense counterlines and interactions that continue their trademark of songs that could pass as improvisational energy and intricate compositions. Notably, in the lulling, less dense developments in the middle of the disc, Many Arms expand on a droning theme that also appeared on Suspended Definitions, which finds the group matching their rapid-fire lines with slower, extended sequences, too. Not only will this be familiar to listeners of Many Arms, but also to those familiar with some of the members’ recent solo work (specifically, both Millevoi and Deblase have recent releases that experiment with the droning potential of their instruments and approaches to jazz or free music. This is especially interesting given that the sessions with Nakamura may have preceded writing and sessions for those recent solo releases, which leaves the listener with fun questions about influence, impact, and artistic development). Once the listener hears this artifact and collaboration, there is no mistake that they can use repeat listens to feel Many Arms’ challenging directions and advancements in their writing; as a base for noise, jazz, and aggressive “free” music, the players gleefully dance with their thresholds. - Nicholas Zettel

(Vital Weekly) Many Arms is a trio of Nick Millevoi (guitar), Johnny DeBlase (bass) and Ricardo Lagomasino (drums); I never heard of them. On the night of April 28, 2013 they played music at the Rose Recital Hall, in Philadelphia, in an improvisational duet with Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board. I went in this completely blank as, as said, I never heard of Many Arms. Right from the start of 'I', the opening piece, this is a blast of noise. For eleven minutes this piece marches on and it's not easy to figure out in this violence of drums, guitar and bass what Nakamura is contribution is to this mayhem. Occasionally one hears him, in the same con furizio style. In 'II' the sounds are more spaced out - still loud, but here we hear a clearer distinction between 'band' and 'musician'. All of them play a blast of sound and in the end of each blast we hear a bit of Nakamura humming about. In 'III' he even starts out and this slowly grows from a more traditional forms of improvisation - carefully building up towards a all out free-freak session with Nakamura on an all out feedback experience. 'IV' is the longest piece here, in which the interests of the three pieces are combined in an almost nineteen minute piece of music. Quiet sometimes (very rare though), lots of free noise, Nakamura trying to make himself heard from time to time, but adding this alien backdrop to the free noise rock of Many Arms, regular improvisation with a bit less noise, and clearing the floor in an all out noise blast. Only in 'II' the balance seemed equal, and in the other three pieces Many Arms seems to be blowing their guest away, but he holds up well in this violence. That must have been one hell of a concert, to which the CD only does partly justice. - Frans De Waard

(Free Jazz Blog) Many Arms are not really the kind of band that needs further musical backing. Given the density of their music, one might even think that the addition of guest musicians might be more of an overload than an enhancement. But such concerns don’t seem to trouble the Philadelphia trio; on the contrary, they seem to have taken a liking to collaborations, as the record to be reviewed here is the second collaborative effort in a row, following last year’s Suspended Definition (with Canadian saxophonist Colin Fisher). And since that record turned out to be a full artistic success, concerns about the quality of the results are probably unfounded here, as well. And yet, the obvious differences between Fisher and Japanese Noise/”Onkyo” improviser Toshimaru Nakamura don’t allow hasty conclusions as to the artistic merits of the outcome. Fisher’s musical sensibility was certainly more in line with Many Arms’ “too much is barely enough” approach than Nakamura’s. Employing a no-input mixing board, he stands more or less on the opposite end of the improv spectrum, favoring gritty but abstract sounds whereas Many Arms go for a brash, punk-derived approach (think Last Exit or The Blue Humans). In other words, it’s a risky endeavor, and there’s really no way to tell whether this is going to be a case of “extremes meet” before actually considering the music. In a way, then, the first track here highlights the possible problems of such an unlikely collaboration. While by no means bad, it’s a fairly typical Many Arms track that doesn’t leave a lot of room for Nakamura’s contributions. He provides merely a layer of background noise which almost goes unnoticed next to Millevoi’s dazzling guitar leads. Track two, however, proves to be a better argument for Nakamura’s presence. It’s much more spacious and quiet, thus allowing him to show his strengths. And Nakamura does just that, seizing the opportunity to flood the ether with waves of grainy, textural sounds. It is indeed like a sea of sound, time and again set into motion by bass drum hits. But the true high points are to be found in the record’s second half. It is here that we witness Nakamura’s transition from “guest musician” to “band member”, as his contributions finally go beyond the merely textural. On track three, this somewhat more organic interaction results in what sounds like an unlikely match-up of Black Flag and AMM, as Many Arms’ frenetic playing and Nakamura’s “broad brushstrokes” combine in unexpected but mostly successful ways. The fourth and last track, then, sees the quartet operating as a regular band, with Nakamura engaging in intriguing rhythmic interplay with both guitar and bass. A strong effort that begs for continuation, since this quartet’s potential seems hardly exhausted by these four tracks. - Julian Eidenberger

(Something Else) Philadelphia’s experimental noise maestros Many Arms’ fourth album is a metallic mindfuck like the first three, but as its title makes clear, Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura (out May 15, 2015 from Public Eyesore) is addition by, well, addition. Japanese noise specialist Toshimaru Nakamura savors collaboration with like-minded free improv artists, whether it’s with Yoshihide Otomo in Tokyo or Many Arms at the other side of the globe on the East Coast. Unlike some of his peers such as Merzbow whose primarily tool of the trade involves a laptop, Nakamura works a mixing console for generating his sounds. By connecting the input of the console to the output, his self-described ‘no-input mixing board’ generates feedback that he contorts and bends to his liking. His fine-grained approach to sonic textures has found a home in Many Arms’ unstructured environment, where sound over melody also reigns supreme. Thusly, the trio of Nick Millevoi (guitar), Johnny DeBlase (bass) and Ricardo Lagomasino (drums) becomes a quartet without leaving anything behind, because Nakamura blends in so well and operates on the same frequency (figuratively and sometimes, literally). On the relentless first track “I” (as in ‘One’), he makes himself fit with high pitched screeches to feed the tweeters on your speakers, often divebombing into Millevoi’s mid-range thrash pit and the DeBlase/Lagomasino roiling freight train thunder. The impact of “II” comes from the occasional blasts between Millevoi’s feedback, conditioning the listener to brace for each upcoming pounding. But Nakamura adds more to the plot with an industrial drone that gradually gets more prominent. The four put even more air under “III,” at least initially. Nakamura makes an assortment of buzzy sounds, but everyone can be heard individually. As the music gets denser, Nakamura and DeBlase climb up to the higher ends of their respective instruments and Millevoi slices into whatever void is left with urgent, clattering licks. Post-peak, the song slowly fades away into a haze of distant feedback. “IV” begins with an ominous rumble of drums and Millevoi’s chiming single note sequence falls into a holding pattern that complements Nakamura’s busy squeaks and crackles. Following DeBlase’s rumbling, spidery bass solo, the console navigator piles on white noise and feedback as the whole band works itself up into another frenzy. Inserting Toshimaru Nakamura into the mix doesn’t transform Many Arms, it amplifies their punk ethos/free jazz spirit instead. Put another way, Nakamura didn’t mess with a good thing, he just made a good thing even better. - S. Victor Aaron

(Invisible Oranges) Now, this is a team-up for this ages. On one hand you get Many Arms’ punk and free-jazz in equal parts filled with a John Zorn-ian improv sense and a lot of math metal qualities. On the other one of the pioneers of the Onkyo Music Movement, Toshimaru Nakamura. Giving more emphasis to the texture of sound rather the musical structure or sense of melody, Nakamura makes use of a mixing board set in a feedback loop (input to output) which he manipulates through various effects. The result of these two forces is a multi-faced album. Chaotic explosions and free-jazz fury wash over with cacophonous waves, devoid of form at times, constantly morphing to the artists’ whim.The improv side can be felt, and with a jazz aesthetic providing a less distorted, touch smoother, approach. It is all summed up in the magnificent closing track, as the two artists work together with a set progression in mind, brilliantly navigating through noise and math rock, starting from loose notions and building to devastating storms. - Spyros Stasis

(Tiny Mix Tapes) So, yeah, while “preparing” for this review, I searched “collaboration quotes,” and after scrolling past dozens of quotes concerning peaceful conflict resolution and international politics and business management and all of that reductionist bullshit, I found the above quote, which I will elaborate on later in this review. What struck me as equally intriguing as this simple yet insightful quote though was how uniformly artists and entrepreneurs of all kinds openly value collaboration, despite being known as independent entities. Now, it isn’t particularly striking in itself that celebrity creators from various fields claim that collaboration is essential for success, and I am (perhaps) not (as) skeptical (as I should be) that these are sincere statements; what made me pause at John Green’s seemingly obvious statement about literature was how rare it appeared that other popular figures consider their audience as partners in a narrative’s resonance and interpretation. It’s an elevator speech version of postmodern lit crit, yet I find Green’s seemingly general observation an uncannily appropriate meditation when considering yet another collaborative performance and its merits as a synthetic work of art. Philly-based free-jazz/hardcore punk group Many Arms and Tokyo-based no-input mixing board innovator Toshimaru Nakamura are engaged in full-on dialectic on this one-off self-titled recording, yet despite their lively musical banter, hearing it all play out is a bit like sitting in on conversation about people you’ve never met before; conversational humor, no matter how involved each member is, is rarely funny when you’re not a part of it. Furthermore, it seems like this exchange’s setting and mood results in a lot of incomprehensible noise, which although decipherable from within proximity, remains muddled from where we sit. Sonically, Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura is far from impenetrable; for fans of Ben Bennet’s anything-goes percussion, ZS’s mercurial skronk, and Nakamura’s piercing and patience-testing solo work, this record is comparatively digestible (there are even some spiraling guitar solos reminiscent of Orthrelm that provide some formic grounding). It’s finding a meaningful way into this four-movement collaboration that proves tedious at times. As much as I dig what each member is doing here, I can’t help but feel like its personnel is a bit lopsided. It’s clear from its intense imperfections that each musician is in top improvisational form, yet Many Arms still sounds like a jam band playing from some sort of noise version of Fake Book, and if I didn’t already know that he was involved, Nakamura’s no-input mixing board squeals sound like they could just be extra feedback from whatever Many Arms is doing. On a positive tone though (you wouldn’t call it a note here, would you?), the album keeps improving upon relistens (aesthetically, at least). I mean, who gives a shit about an underlying narrative in a noise collaboration anyway, right? Many Arms & Nakamura are at their most affective when they’re operating at either extreme: crackling chaos (“I”) or simmering quietude (“III”), yet it’s simply a lack of any sort of dialectical framing between these extremes that separates this collaboration from, say, a Keiji Haino or Otomo Yoshihide or even any other Nakamura record, which regardless of concept all highlight their dimensionality by accounting for personal space. If you can isolate its component voices yourself though, this performance reaps a plethora of rewards. At times, I hear Bad Brains echoes and wish that more noise collaborations pulled from this shared space between hardcore punk and noise; it’s refreshing hearing pure rock shreddage on an Onkyo-affiliated disc. Additionally, every musician on here is without a doubt a phenomenal technical player (scope those Portal-esque guitar breakdowns on “I,” those stampeding drums on “IV,” that gurgling bass on “III”). Taken in snippets, Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura rivals masterpieces of its modality, and although it often doesn’t work as a whole, perhaps its avoidance of stark dynamic contrasts in favor of nonstop motion can provide a foil to those collaborations that risk losing listeners in a void of inactivity. While I’d still recommend Nakamura’s maruto, a study of introspection that begs an outsider response, there are bold narrative choices made on Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura that, if explored within a more defined framework, could be just as intriguing. - Jackson Scott

(Le Son Du Grisli) C’est un trio guitare / basse / batterie que rencontre sur ce CD Toshimaru Nakamura : Nick Millevoi / Johnny DeBlase / Ricardo Lagomasino = Many Arms, qui sévit à New York et affiche déjà à leur compteur rutilant deux disques publiés sur Tzadik (pas tellement originaux, d’ailleurs, mais les choses semblent changer). Un power-trio qui frappe fort et (of course) fait du bruit. Mais là son rock in opposition rencontre un mur (c’est le no-input mixing board) qui lui renvoie, avec une force décuplée, tous ses buzzs et ses larsens, ses tirandos et apoyandos acharnés et ses bouillonnements de batterie. Il faut d’ailleurs que Millevoi tienne son médiator d’une main de maître pour que son groupe parvienne à résister. Bien forcé de concéder un peu de son territoire (sur II où TN remplit les notes d’une basse qui tombe)... mais c’était pour mieux revenir. A tel point qu’à cette heure, on ne sait toujours pas qui sort gagnant de cette joute bruitiste… Même le titre du disque n’a pas su choisir. Je répète : Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura. - Pierre Cecile


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