Koji Asano – Polar Parliament

Koji Asano – Polar Parliament

CD, Solstice, 2011
www.kojiasano.com

The Japanese sound artist slash composer Koji Asano had two releases this year. The first one, “Solstice Eclipse” couldn’t grab me as a full release, so I was very curious if that was an accident, a matter of taste, or simply a missing connection between him and me. This second 2011 release, “Polar Parliament” should reveal the truth.
The disc is packaged inside the same kind of case as the former one; the size of a jewel case, but the same black plastic with foil we see in DVD packaging. Two macro photos of the wheels of a garbage bin (?) are printed in full color and the information is limited to what is necessary. Next to the CD, the case holds a handkerchief in plastic foil with a picture of Mr. Asano. I could only think, ‘Why?’… It’s not like a cum cloth as with SoiSong’s “Memory Box #1”, I think. A little looking around makes it clear Koji more often gives away little presents with his releases. The original “Solstice Eclipse” seems to have had a pen… But, Kleenex? Why? Damn, I need to get myself together, it’s about the music, not about the Kleenex!
The two tracks are quite long and, in contradiction to “Solstice Eclipse”, with this release that is not a bad thing. “Polar Parliament” is far more varied and yet still slow enough in its movements to be considered a drone. Albeit – fair is fair – with a heavy electro-acoustic influence.
The first part counts just under 30 minutes and contains heavy pulsating sequences. The track seems to become rhythmic, but never gets to the point where it actually is. The second part of almost 40 minutes has an analog feel which, in combination with the watery sounds, makes the whole composition have that aforementioned electro-acoustical feel.
“Polar Parliament” is definitely worth the download, if I didn’t have the CD already I wouldn’t have hesitated. But still there is something to complain about, which would keep me, personally, from the overpriced $25 CD. That is that the whole thing should have been recorded better. The choking frequencies on certain moments ruin the flow and atmosphere. It has its charm in some noise music, and certainly when it’s recorded on tape, but with a probably laptop-based recording it’s a big ‘no’.

[7.0/10]

— Bauke van der Wal