CD-R, T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!!, 2007
Kenji Siratori is a Japanese writer, associated with cyberpunk and known for his experimental non-linear writing style which seemingly lacks any form of narrative structure. In the last couple of years, Siratori has also developed a presence in various fields of underground electronic music in the form of spoken word collaborations with a variety or electronic musicians, some of those being quite interesting. Judging from the number of “featuring Kenji Siratori” tracks that popped up, it is not impossible that Siratori contacted every musician under the sun for these collaborations as part of a networking effort to raise awareness of his work in circles other than those of cult literature.
With “Humanexit”, released by T’an! Kaven!! Ash!!!, the experimental sublabel of the Israeli label The Eastern Front, Siratori presents a series of raw spoken word vs. noise pieces. In all compositions, Siratori’s distorted and almost authoritarian, mechanical voice is layered over a background of continuous abrasive noise for a non-stop aural assault. There may be quite a bit more to Kenji Siratori’s work than meets the eye…
Uninteligible, both because of the language barrier (texts are in Japanese) and because of the intrinsic randomness of his prose, Siratori’s spoken word is strangely expressive, despite its robotic nature and distortion, and functions on an empathic level, the message being not what is said but how it is said. Whether or not this is intentional, “Humanexit” does function as a collection of extremely abrasive mantras that have a very strange appeal, grabbing the listener’s attention and forcing concentration on a very primal level of perception, coercing into submission and triggering a ‘upper brain function shutdown’ of sorts. Effectively this release is an example that sometimes the most straightforward concepts (in this case distorted voice over noise background) can be used to obtain complex effects.
Granted, “Humanexit” may be an acquired taste and require that the listener have a propensity for this kind of intense aural experiences, fans of power electronics are sure to relate to this release on some level. The casual listener may find it very hard to get into; an open mind is a pre-requisite not to appreciate but to experience this release. Preferably loudly.
— Miguel de Sousa