Nisennenmondai – Live at Clouds Hill (CD/LP Clouds Hill)
One could of course wonder why this gets released so relatively shortly after N saw the light of day. Nisennenmondai (Japanese term for the Y2K bug that treatened the world at the end of the twentieth century) released the powerful N ep at the end of 2014 and played this in Cloud Hill’s Hamburg studio (This release is part of the ’Live at Clouds Hill’ series on Vinyl, CD & Digital Downloads (Audio & Video). It will include exclusive live footage that was taken during the live performance in front of a small audience at the Clouds Hill Recordings Studio (accessible via play.clouds-hill.com). Long, extraordinary, hypnotic, addictive and rhythmic, N gets played integral on this Cloud Hill’s release (separated by a fourth track, Mirrorball ’13). In a studio recording this music typically creates the setting for perfect dancefloor hallucinations, live this kind of music gets better when some rock gets thrown in. Curious where that would lead to with the hypercoldness of N where there was nothing wrong with the basic ingredients; raw, pure and greatly textured and in its endless repetition, the drum, bass and guitar dissolving the horizon, kind a like the autobahn-trance on all night television of the nineties.
The answer to the question I started with, might be that live the minimalists rockers of Nisennenmondai usually are so much better sounding live (there’s great stuff actually on YouTube) and the idea was maybe to undo N of some of its robotic control stasis. If this was the intent, it is only achieved partially. The set is played with focus, in control, in sturdy control and with a robotic precision. It just ploughs on with a deterministic conviction, respecting evolutionary principles with introducing stepwise subtle changes that lead to kaleidoscopic changes ultimately. Trying to lose themselves in the so obvious yet non-existent symbiosis of Krautrock’s legacy and trance’s freakout hypnosis, Nisennenmondai’s crossover between Neu, Schickert’s echoguitar, Underworld’s trance and New Order’ technokitsch works by leaving out variation, deconstructing reality, allowing the high-pace, trance-inducing motorik to take over, but it above all remains a missed opportunity to showcase evolution can sometimes develop into unexpected beauty. PvdG