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Onnyk - Private Idioms
CD-R (Morioka, Japan)

-improvisation one
-improvisation two

(c) 2001 Kinno Yoshiaki
cover art by K.Day
design by B.Day

(All Music Guide) Released in 2001 on the American CD-R label Public Eyesore, Private Idioms culls two half-hour long solo improvisations from October 1995 and February 1997. The first one comes from a public performance, the second was recorded in private. Why release these six years after the fact? Did Kinno Yoshiaki (the person behind the moniker Onnyk) only then find someone interested in releasing the music? It¹s a little difficult to believe, as these two pieces are very impressive. Yoshiaki plays freely. Unlike most Japanese guitarists, he skips the distortion, sticking to a clean electric sound, using lots of fretboard tapping, volume pedal and whammy bar effect. Once he starts, he doesn¹t let go for the whole duration of the piece, although he leaves so room to breathe. His music is not a density contest, but he display a lot of energy and wild technique. The influence of both Derek Bailey and Eugene Chadbourne are obvious: the pedal use and abstract lines of the Englishman, the nuttiness of the American (you know, the impression that his fingers run out of his own control). Add to them the essence of Hans Tammen¹s playing when he uses lightly or non-prepared guitars. Improvisation One is somewhat more satisfactory (the second one runs a little dry two-thirds in), but the two pieces make up a nice disc, challenging and rewarding. Experimental guitar buffs should investigate. - Francois Couture

(Vital Weekly no. 318) A bit clueless here as to Onnyk is, except that his real name is Kinno Yoshiaki is and that plays improvisations on the guitar. The two lenghty pieces on this release are from 1995 and 1997. Also a bit clueless why they are released now. It's not that they are not nice or anything, but it seems a bit long overdue. Onnyk scratches, plucks and prepares his way on the guitar in a free playing mood. Unlike many other Japanese musicians, Onnyk doesn't go all the noise way, but on the other hand it's also not the same sort of silence as Taku Sagimoto. Wonderful free music, played with great pace. -Frans de Waard

(Blastitude no. 12) Kinno "Onnyk" Yoshiaki is another solo guitar player who sounds like he might be a rocker who was enlightened and converted by the Kaiser Frith Bailey 'all-avant solo jam' song-form (a/k/a 'the 20-minute-plus solo improv piece'). This set is more rippin' than the amblin' Denunzio set, with Yoshiaki using noise scrapes and loud volume and super-fast jazzblues-type avant licks. I mean this is STRAIGHT-UP Bailey Kaiser style. As always (it's getting to sound like an apology) there are plenty of good moments -- hey, I kinda like this bit right now, just before the -- what is it? -- 7:55 mark of track one, kinda of a 'cascading shower of microtones' thing. Oh yeah, the shower's still going, now at the....8:55 mark (I swear, I looked up exactly a minute later). (Yeah, this is the first time I've listened to this record. I usually have my reviews 90% finished about 10 minutes into the record. Don't worry, if a review ends up being unfair due to repeat listens or the 'test of time,' I always change it. You might be reading a changed review right now!) It's good when he pulls off an actual microtone shower thing, but with the overall strictly-Incusian approach, I just don't know how important this would be to someone who's already heard, say, 20-30 hardcore improv records. It was recorded back in 1995, maybe it sounded a little more timely then -- I think I still owned a couple Superchunk records at the time. The second track is from 1997, and is still pretty much all Incus all the time, but such a high-speed approach is taken that the music takes on a 'constant small wiggle' feel that improves on the 'avant stop-and-start' tactics of the first track. Still, at 29:56 this track is WAY too long, just as the first one is too long at 24:25. I just listened to the whole thing while washing the dishes, which is often the only way to listen to your 40th or 50th (200th or 300th?) strictly-Incusian improv record. - Matt Silcock

(I am Cancer) Total freakout guitar noodling to newdle your noodle. be sure not to burn up your three and a half pounds of dog food. you get two live improvisations with no overdubs, aching to wham-o and the like. kinda sounds like sped up looney toons. untoons. i wouldnt be caught dead with a gangster taz or tweety bird shirt on. just be forwarned. you thought you could pull it off, but your wrong. shame on you. cut off your fingers! - Chris Fischer

(Chain D.L.K 10/27/2002) Two half-hour long improvised pieces by Japanese guitarist Kinno Yoshiaki a.k.a. Onnyk, dating October 1995 and February 1997 (played respectively in a gallery and in his living room), released last year by Bryan Day's Public Eyesore (with an excellent cover art, as always). An extreme cd, not in the sense of harsh or noisy (the electric sound is crystal-clear, no feedback is involved), but very rigorous and sometimes hermetic in its sound research. Clusters of jazz scales, possibly some blues, are fragmented and reassembled in fast, frenetic passages which leave you dizzy. "Abstract" would be the key word for these improvisations - there's an undisputable display of tecnique, fantasy and research, resulting in a severe and demanding release. Talking of subjective feedback, and falling into the "personal tastes" field, I'd say I've been interested but not particularly captivated by these "Private Idioms". Much like with most abstract art, I just feel the lack of something to lean on, be it a noise, a melody or an overall atmosphere. But probably, if you're even remotely interested in improvisation or avantgarde guitar playing, this will probably be your cup of tea. - Eugenio Maggi

(AmbiEntrance 5/2002) More stringy strangeness from a genuinely eclectic-listening label finds Onnyk's guitar(s?) being freakily fingered in unconventional real-time acrobatics... Fiery twisting riffs spew through Improvisation One (24:27) sometimes glaring off into longer tones, but usually just spastically flailing in barely-controlled cyclonic outbursts of quite-possibly-random patterns. Expect plenty of unexpected mutations along the way, including unpredictable tempo changes, screeching strands, plickety plinks, shimmery blurs, etc. etc. Similar though softer (or maybe I'm just getting used to it by this point... and I've got the volume turned down) Improvisation Two (29:56) further documents the myriad of ways in which Kinno Yoshiaki can contort seemingly normal guitar strings... hyperjazz arpeggios, wavering chords, and much more. While I'm a huge proponent of freedom of expression and wish more power to Onnyk, such frenetic material (despite the impressive dexterity and creativity at play) just wears me out, so a personally downgraded B-. If extravagant (and quite frankly amazing) guitar surrealism is your bag, fill it up at Public Eyesore. - David J. Opdyke

(Aural Innovations no. 23) Onnyk is the moniker used by Japanese free-improv guitarist Kinno Yoshiaki. The CD consists of a 25 minute track recorded at a gallery in 1995 and a 30 minute track recorded in Yoshiaki's living room in 1997. It's all solo guitar workouts that are pretty firmly in the Frith/Bailey school of improvisational guitar, and Yoshiaki displays a fairly impressive level of proficiency on his instrument that allows him to be simultaneously abstract and expressive, as well as being able to keep things interesting throughout these lengthy performances. He does utilize some noise and harsh scratching techniques, but for the most part we hear good clean playing that makes it easy to zero in on the details of intricate fretboard runs and individual notes and tones. It certainly helps that the recording quality is good. Yoshiaki likes to continually evolve through various patterns and styles (not always so seamlessly), from standard off-kilter freeform guitar, but also including jazz and rock influences, as well as bits of Blues. There are a lot of really good free-improv guitarists in the underground but not many of them can consistently hold my attention throughout such lengthy tracks as Yoshiaki has. But with such a clear and usually precise playing style, there's plenty for the attentive listener to focus on and dissect, making this an enjoyable and challenging hour of avant-garde solo guitar. - Jerry Kranitz

(Ampersand Etcetera 2002_10) Kinno Yoshiaki (Onnyk) recorded these two guitar improvisations in Morioka in 1995 (in a gallery) and 1997 (in his living room). Single takes of near half an hour each, they are very approachable and surprisingly intimate. Onnyk eschews guitar heroics or an expected Japanese sonic assault, but rather shifts easily between the main act which is slightly atonal picking and runs with a bit of angry scratching, short periods of noise, fast tight picking, interrupted slides, percussive chords, some loose stringed sliding times and occasionally eking out some strangled horn like tones. His guitar playing is excellent, drawing out layered complex sounds which I would have thought needed more hands! The first solo, in front of an audience seems to have more of a showcase feel as we shift through the methods and styles, while in the lounge Onnyk is more 'musical' even straying into some bluesy patches. Both are highly listenable and very entertaining. I put this on expecting noise and was pleasantly surprised – excellent for those who like guitar improv that is played with underplayed skill. - Jeremy Keens

(Improjazz no. 85) Si la quête de musiciens obscurs, d’improbables génies passés inaperçus vous fait frétiller, vous pourrez toujours vous jeter sur le nouveau disque solo d’Onnyk sorti sur Public Eyesore, qui use ses cordes depuis Fifth Column, le premier groupe prog’ de Jojo Hiroshige. La paisible pochette ne laisse pas deviner l’amas de cordes tortueuses qui tapissent les deus plages de Private Idioms. Si l’on en croit le titre, Onnyk n’a d’autre ambition que d’explorer les nouveau idiomes dévoloppés par des musiciens qui lui sont chers : on est ici dans l’univers de la guitare qui claque sèchement, qui noue des notes pour mieux tisser ses clusters - on reconnaîtra l’influence de Derek Bailey, Eugene Chadbourne... On a toutefois du mal à cette musique sans vraie direction, un peu renfermée sur ellemême. - Florent Delval

(Komakino) Yoshiaki Kinno, aka Onnyk, is a GENIUS of experimental guitar tecnique. When i seen the first of these two tracks had been live performed (people clapping at the end of the track), i bowed. About 24 unbroken minutes of solo, shot at 1oo km/h, wild eclectism, schizophrenia, scratched guitar chords, fingers on volume knowb, tarantula tecnique. A pure frenzy? Listen to Improvissation Two. - Maybe it's because this man has got a nervous breakwdown each time He performs a song, maybe that's between these two recordings there are two years of difference (95-97). Private Idioms, released past year by Public Eyesore, about 6o mins, a pearl, 8$. Greetings. - Paolo Miceli

(The Wire 7/2002) Onnyk is guitarist Kinno Yoshiaki. His favoured fretboard hammering technique frequently recalls the work of Hans Reichel, although the two solo improvisations on Private Idioms (from 1995 and 1997) do bear Onnyk's own idiosyncratic stamp. He's a busy player, massaging the instrument's neck, worrying and teasing percussive clusters and their acoustic shadows. - Julien Cowley

(Aiding and Abetting no. 232) Two improvisations from guitarist Kinno Yoshiaki. Man, can this guy coax some amazing sounds out of an axe. And turn those sounds into something truly astonishing. Fifty-plus minutes of guitar noodling never sounded so cool. Yoshiaki really does have a gift for crafting improvisations into coherent works. This isn't some guy screwing around. It's serious business. Truly fine work. I'm afraid I really can't do justice to the work here. It must be heard to be believed, much less understood. If you care at all about serious guitar playing, this disc is a must. - Jon Worley

(Indieville 1/19/2002) ONNYK is Yoshiaki Kinno, a talented guitar improviser and also the owner of the Allelopathy label of Japan. Private Idioms collects two thirty-minute pieces of his work on electric guitar, and boy is it an amazing release. Working solely with the guitar's natural sounds - completely feedback and pedal free - these two pieces (from 1995 and 1997, respectively) see Kinno noodling out some of the most startlingly complex guitar pluckings you're ever likely to hear. ONNYK's talent lies in the fact that his music is so varied - at times, it can be calm and thoughtful, and at others he just goes crazy, producing these insanely intricate, chaotic sounds that just can't be described through words. And the fact that he doesn't need any amp-busting feedback and distortion techniques to accomplish these climactic moments makes it oh-so-much-more impressive. Private Idioms works as both an impressive release for guitar improv enthusiasts, and a record for those just interested in getting a taste of the scene. The frantic technique variation and hints of tunefulness help to make Kinno's music more accessible to those beginning on their "Guitar Improv for Dummies" course, while his sheer talent will please scene veterans. So ONNYK's Private Idioms is certainly a recommended listen. It's just a wonder that Kinno waited half a decade after these two pieces' recording to give them to Public Eyesore for release. - Matt Shimmer

(Improvijazzation Nation no. 61) If you're looking for l-o-n-g improv jams (2 cuts, each around 25 minutes) to zone out (& I mean O-U-T) to, Onnyk's efforts will reward your jaded ears. Micro-tonal guitars, deeply involved, that are somehow relaxing & frenetic at the same time. I've heard my pal Davey Williams do electric guitar like this, but Onnyk has his own style, to be sure. There wasn't much info on the jacket about him, but you can find him on the web quite handily. He's played with some weights, including Fred Frith,. The recording is clean as a bell, very intricate and highly original improvisation that will appeal to those who like to listen "on the edge". This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, in fact, as it's one of the best releases we've reviewed from the PUBLIC EYESORE label! Contact by clicking on the PUBLIC EYESORE link. - Rotcod Zzaj

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