With sheets of sound whistling around the listener’s ears this is an intergalactic trip like no other. It is certainly a visceral experience that shows the power of both of the artists involved to their full potential. And what artists they are; French guitar and electronics pioneer Richard Pinhas who has spent five decades exploring the outer reaches of rock music and electronica and Japanese drum legend Yoshida Tatsuya, a true force of nature and one of the leading exponents of his instrument. Together they have a discography that stretches further than the eye can see – all the way to the stratosphere in fact, which is handy as that is from where Welcome In The Void blasts off into the furthest reaches of space.
The raw power and cathartic emotional intent that comes through in this recording is palpable and the two players are clearly in tune with each other’s needs and direction, sharing a desire to push their experimental selves still further. No resting on their laurels for this pair; past glories are merely a stepping stone to future exploration. This is the sonic equivalent of the Voyager program.
Welcome In The Void is an album that dares you to face it in a darkened room, volume levels raised to ‘Stun’, and allow the intense sounds to sand-blast you. In places it is ferocious enough to remove layers of skin and deaden nerve endings. For most listeners it will feel like having the sides of their head repeatedly smashed by frying pans until they surrender or die.
But for those who are not “most listeners” this is glorious.
This is the kind of Spacerock that Hawkwind could never even have dreamed of in their most spliffed out days. A wonderful example of just what can be achieved through tenacity, vision, hard work and the ingenious use of repetition. Add raw energy and the result is nothing short of a sonic revolution. The most extreme death metal outfit couldn’t even grasp this kind of intensity.
This is what is out there beyond the known.
Pinhas’ rolling and merging soundscapes are fascinating but it is Tatsuya’s contribution that makes this recording so inherently listenable for me. It almost defies description, beautifully captured and integral to the power and shattering visceral damage that the music inflicts whilst Pinhas soars and swirls in a myriad different directions at once with celestial menace and rock smashing force, reaching for the stars and attaining them. As a whole it feels like being shot out of a cannon into a plate glass window, the Music of the Spheres cascading around you.
There is Fripp-like melody within the ferocious looping which only goes to underline just how otherworldly most of this extraordinary album is.
World’s collide, stars die, new ones are formed from the debris.
The sounds move in waves that get increasingly more intense before easing off slightly as a degree of calm is restored but soon Tatsuya is back beating the holy crap out of a kit that must have been reduced to dust by the end of the session.
There is something primordial about it all, the repetitive evolution of the themes as they loop round and around almost infinitely could be a metaphor for the development of life itself; constantly in a state of flux, being brought to a state of near collapse before rebuilding again – two steps forward, one step back. Welcome In The Void could be played on repeat for the rest of time, a soundtrack to the rise and fall of human existence.
A full-on hour+ of this kind of stuff is going to be a big ask for most people so the lads have thoughtfully added a 4-minute Intro to ease in the more squeamish and jumpy amongst us. If you get through the starter then you may be ready for the main course. And if not … HERE IT IS ANYWAY – Enjoy!!
Welcome In the Void is the second album of Pinhas’ ‘Devolution Trilogy’ which started with Desolation Row in 2013. As Pinhas explains:-
“It is about the historical-political effect of machines and neo-liberalism, and their attempts to put people back into slavery. It is a cry to revolt against slavery. The trilogy is concerned with the devolution of mankind, of civilization, capitalism’s devolution, and mainly the devolution of human/biological faculties – and how all this is related to the rise of machines.”
It’s his album and it can mean whatever he wants it to but for me it is simply a fascinating work full of breathtaking and brilliant moments from both men. I often struggle with disc long electronica that meanders without any real point. This album is different. There is purpose and excitement to be had and the journey is quite a ride.
Ever wondered what it would sound like if a million guitarists seemingly play what they like whilst an army of giants beat on oil tankers with tree stumps? Well now we know. And it’s good.
01. Part One – Intro (4:06)
02. Part Two – Core Trax (64:06)
Total Time – 68:12
Richard Pinhas – Stereo Loop Guitar & Loop Stereo Guitar
Yoshida Tatsuya – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalogue#: Rune 391
Year Of Release: 2014