Astro/Marax – Split CDr
Astro is a Japanese noise project that has been floating around for quite some time now. Since 1997, Hiroshi Hasegawa of Astro has collaborated with the likes of Richard Ramirez, Government Alpha, and Bad Sector. Alongside Marax, who I have previously not heard but has nearly been around for the same amount of time, this split essentially qualifies as HNW but still has a very swirling, Japanoise flair to it.
Astro’s track, Sounds For Unconsciousness Behavior, is a long, pulsating whirl of harsh, spaced noise that evolves at a moderate pace. The details and sound shifts are subtle but definitely lend a lot of space to the sound. Everything is so crunchy and swelling throughout the track and becomes particularly spacey at the end.
Marax’s tracks are very similar in style to Astro, but with much more diversity in the sound. These tracks are much faster paced and while still maintaining a swirling, Japanoise atmosphere, the details are much more varied. The sound admittedly becomes somewhat redundant near the end but overall Marax effectively utilizes heavy texture over repeating sounds to create a compelling experience.
I couldn’t think of a better artist to have been paired with Astro; these tracks complement each other so well. Even though there’s really nothing new here, this split is solid and Japanoise fans will enjoy this release very much.