12″, Record Label Records, 2009
Experimental music, in its attempts to push back the boundaries, is often completely insane, and it should not be taken in any way as xenophobic or racist that the Japanese are some of the craziest artists going. Whereas Japan is often more well known for its impossibly extreme noise scene, certain bizarre artists such as Contagious Orgasm have been operating for many years, throwing all manner of unexpected sounds into highly unique and often very infuriating compositions. But there comes a time when it really doesn’t hurt to reign in those indulgent excesses and write some tunes, all within an experimental context of course.
The amusingly named Record Label Records has released this vinyl-only EP, “One Drop Water”, featuring three quite exciting splashes of numerous interesting and captivating sonic liquids blended with quite some skill. While Contagious Orgasm has long possessed a tuneful edge, this has generally shown itself in short bursts, with the more musical passages lasting only a brief time before being cruelly cut short. Here the structures are more flowing and continuous, and as a result seem to provide a more rewarding listen.
The opening track features a certain Jiver Dicker, an artist so obscure that Google only mentions the individual’s contribution to this effort. It opens with high-pitched electronic sounds, creating an uncomfortably hypnotic sensation, but these are soon replaced by a morose composition of cello and bells, overlaid by a mournful (possibly) Japanese voice. As the pleasing music progresses and reaches a crescendo, there is then a very effective sudden burst of noise, which soon calms, giving way to smaller interjections of strange electronic sounds as heard at the beginning. The second track gets off to a slightly inferior start, with almost childish use of battle sounds, but after these fade a powerful dance beat takes over, slightly tribal in sound, and the air raid sirens and radio voices begin to sound more well placed.
The final track is longer and opens with a sustained soundtrack-esque chord, but then is overtaken by an insistent piano slightly too high in the mix, accompanied by buzzing and swooping synth sounds. Another tragic cello melody then improves things, together with a ritualistic tribal rhythm and a peculiar voice mumbling in the background, before a grand finale bringing things to an epic conclusion. If you like unusual and limited vinyl releases of quality experimental music, then this one could well find a welcome home in your record collection.
— Nathan Clemence