Kozo Inada

a[ ] 

 (CD by Staalplaat [Netherlands]) 


Well, when a CD looks like this, one would buy it only for the cover. Some kind of transparent plastic sheet with a psychedelic design, the text engraved on the jewel case and a red transparent plastic for the disc. WOW! So what's on this one: three tracks of austere minimalism. Track one starts with one single click in a fast tempo, panning from one speaker to the other, then fading into a 17 kHz or so sinewave, which is later followed by a 30 Hz sinewave (or so). If you thought Ikeda was minimal, then check this one out! Track two starts with a white noise in the left speaker, that gradually increases volume. After one and a half minute there's a cut to a very low drone, that is very rich in texture. A high pithced whine gradually increases in volume and then it all stops. Track three is altogether different: the sound of water is manipulated in several ways, before it turns into a sheer blast of noise, to be cut off suddenly, and leaving us with the water sound from the beginning. Very interesting stuff from a name I haven't heard before. Let's have some more! (MR)

Kozo Inada/*0

b[ ]/2.7K 

 (CD by V2 Archief [Netherlands]) 


Somehow it seems that Japan keeps sending the most radical music to the world. Luckily the world likes that, seeing all these Japanese artists on labels everywhere. Here is a CD with two of Japans younger generation of music makers. I saw Kozo Inada a couple of times playing live concert (err that is, from his laptop) and everytime I was amazed by it. He takes a relative simple course, a strict linear event, which is taken to it's extreme and then cut abruptly. His releases so far (mainly on Staalplaat, Selektion and Digital Narcis) show however a more complex picture. Inada's sound is minimal when it comes to sound input, but maximum when it comes to content. The opening piece here, b[0], is a 25 minute mind blowing high end piece, which evolves slowly. Pure sine waves that move (even if you don't move your heard), and sound directly inspired by Alvin Lucier. The abruptcy of his live pieces is absent here. The second piece is shorter, and reflects more his live set. Going from static high end stuff slowly to a more mid range field which grows and grows in intensity, until it cuts out. Play loud here is well recommended. The other featured artist here is *0, who has some self-released CD releases in minimalist, transparant covers. He has one piece, of just under 18 minutes. *0 also deals with high pitched frequencies, but his piece seems to me a bit less adventurous then Kozo Inada's work in this field. It rather stays at a static side of things, without moving around. Only towards the end the piece seems to open up and more happens. This CD comes in a very nice green soft plastic case that I have never seen before. A remarkable product. (FdW)

Kozo Inada

c[ ] 

 (CD by selektion [Germany]) 


So far Kozo Inada released two CD's on Staalplaat, of which the first one sounded like Ryoji Ikeda and the second more like an excursion in the potential of hiss, and a collaborative CD with Philip Samartzis, which delt with environmental recordings. I also saw Inada play a few concerts this year, and these blew me away. Using a linear built up from sheer silence to extreme noise, with nice cuts that suck all sound away and leaves small particles that slowly start building again. This new CD is his first full length CD, clocking at 47 minutes, with four lengthy pieces. I think that here too Inada uses environmental sounds, most likely the water sounds of the sea, the shores or heavily floating rivers. The four pieces built up from dark (the first one) to high pitched (the fourth). Inada's music sucks you really into it when played loud, it hardly leaves you anything other to do. It's sound that really locks you in. Great stuff. (FdW)

Kozo Inada

d[ ]

 (CD by Staalplaat [Netherlands]) 


Japanese sound artist Kozo Inada did a great job on his debut-album titled A[] released on Staalplaat's Material Series. On second release, D[], he not only manages to stay on level with his debut. He surpasses it with an album that in all aspects seems just a little better than the otherwise great debut. According to Kozo Inada, the compositional works are created on a subconscious realm where all conscious sensory input has been ignored. That aim seems successfully fulfilled on an album where the sonic sphere has been concentrated on abstract sound textures with a few elements of concrete sound-samples. The minimal expression of the debut is continued on D[]. Every composition slowly builds up from the inaudible to trickling and clicking drones that turn harsher as time passes. Sometimes like an increasingly heavy rain shower. Other times like radio-frequency sine waves that gradually penetrate the sound picture. Once more Kozo Inada, proves that he is a sound artist, worth paying close attention to. (NMP) 

Kozo Inada

e[ ]

 (CD by Digital Narcis [Japan]) 


This new CD by Kozo Inada presents five tracks and has a total duration of just over sixty minutes. Compared with earlier work by Inada, this CD is remarkably acoustic: it seems to make use of a lot of field recordings. The question is if that is actually true. Most of the sounds used appear to be acoustic but could also have been generated electronically. Or vice versa: they could be acoustic and edited in such a way that they sound electronic. This ambiguity is very strong and reinforces a sensation of alienation: is what we hear "real" or is it "unreal"? These questions are not up front; they are nagging somewhere in the background and at some points it is very clear what one hears. But at the same time, there is always some "subliminal" theme present. I believe it is precisely this quality that makes Inada's work stand out. And all this is apart from his abilities as a composer: his work has a very strong tension, keeps the listener captivated from the beginning to the end and holds surprises from time to time. Besides this, he also knows how to create immense spaces in sound and play with the listener's expectations. Yes, this one is highly recommended. (MR)

Kozo Inada & Phillip Samartzis

f[ ] 

 (CD by Digital Narcis [Japan]) 


Having heard Inada play live, I can well understand the collaboration with Samartzis. As opposed to earlier releases by Inada, his live shows tend to be a lot richer in sound material, using quite a lot of field recordings, as Samartzis does as well. This CD features one long track, created from many different elements. The first part of the piece is pretty quiet, butt with a lot of space. And then slowly a tapestry of sounds is created, adding more and more fluttering sounds, untill these are faded out and we're left with a soft, deep rumble and a high beep. Then, from the distance, some chords seem to appear. The rumble gets louder and so do other sounds, but only to leave again. The tempo is really slow in this part and the piece almost comes to a full stop. But then, things slowly get denser again, and here and there some sudden sounds interrupt the flow. The overall sound is now getting more electronic and leading to a crescendo, that suddenly stops and leaves us with a low sinewave. Small sounds appear left and right and a new part has started. Rumbles, beeps and high sines now span the spectrum. Development and changes are again quite slow, untill new sounds cut in. Again there's a crackling like fire and the intensitiy of the sounds gets stronger. And again there's a cut, and former material reappears for a short time. And then, after 36 minutes, the piece is over. This is a very good collaboration that deserves a lot of attention. (MR)

Kozo Inada & Phillip Samartzis

h[ ] 

 (CD by Room40 [Australia]) 


Whatever happened to Kozo Inada? It's not a question that I could think of every day, but today, receiving his work with Philip Samartzis, made me think it has been a while ago, since I last heard his music. Which is a great pity, since his previous works, released by Staalplaat, V2_Archief and Selektion, among others, made a big impression on me, especially after seeing a couple of his concerts. Working entirely with field recordings, going through various computer programs, building to crescendo's and carefully re-building after that, were excellent. Some of his more recent works, or at least, last time I checked where in collaboration with other people, and now one surfaces: with Philip Samartzis, formerly a member of GUM and since long a solo artists. He too works with field recordings and electronics, but in a more sustaining way, with lesser of a dramatic built up. In their cooperative piece both are represented. The continuity of Samartzis and the dramatic built up of Inada. The result is a more than excellent piece of music. Delicate, warm, glitchy, familiar and highly captivating. An excellent piece of music. Samartzis' previous band GUM was one of the first to experiment with vinyl, taking John Cage and Christian Marclay to the field of industrial music. Lawrence English has been using turntables alongside DJ Olive and Janek Schaefer and in 2002 he met fellow aussie Samartzis and since they are a turntable duo. The recordings on 'One Plus One' were made early 2006 and sees them both playing vinyl and surface noise. This is a less delicate work than the piece with Inada, but the four pieces are fine pieces of rotating sounds (inescapable when you with such matter) that move nicely about, in a warm bath of electronics, and almost get a rhythm swing to it in the fourth piece and turning it almost into minimal techno piece. Usually I am not too pleased by the works of turntablists but this is a rather nice exception. (FdW)

Kozo Inada & Christophe Charles

i[ ]

  (CD by GE-STELL [US]) 


サンフランシスコの言語学者CAMERON SHAFIIが立ち上げたエクスペリメンタル・レーベルGE-STELLより、JOHN CAGE研究の第一人者を父に持つサウンド・アーティストCHRISTOPHE CHARLESと、ROOM40、STAALPLAATなどからリリースのある電子音響作家KOZO INADAの共演作。2000年ドイツ・ベルリンでの共演を皮切りに、10年以上もコラボレーションを続けてきた両雄による初めての作品となります。フィールド・レコーディング素材と、丹念に作り上げられたサウンド・スケープが壮大でアカデミックな電子音響作品を生みだしています。(disk union)

Kozo Inada

j[ ] 

 (CD by Sonoris [France]) 


My sympathy and love for the work of Kozo Inada didn't came straight away. His first few releases on Staalplaat were alright, but I didn't think brilliant. Coins dropped at a concert I saw by him in Barcelona. It contained the same sounds, but played at this immense volume, the listener gets sucked in it, and when the sound is gone, very fine particles remain and tease the listener further, until the next wave comes. Coming back I listened to his music with totally different ears. For reasons I don't know (it seems his private website needs updating) we don't hear much of him in the recent years, which is a great pity. 'J[]' is a new (?) work, or at least just released (on a totally different I'd like to add that Sonoris just also re-released David Maranha's 'Piano Suspenso', which we reviewed in Vital Weekly 175, so read that please). Moving away from the field recordings which Inada used in his previous releases, for this release he concentrates solely on classical music samples and loops. At first that sounded a bit cheap to me, clearly since they are not too difficult to recognize. Inada produces perfect loops that don't skip or anything, but make a sustaining wave of sound. In each of the five pieces things move slowly but steadily and Inada continues his working methods: from soft to loud, although it seems to me this time on a less radical level than before. It's again quite a powerful work, and opening up new worlds to explore for Inada. It would be great to see more of his work being available. (FdW)

Kozo Inada


 (CD by Staalplaat [Netherlands]) 


One might safely say that Kozo Inada is a Staalplaat discovery. The man who lists his works as 'a[ ]' or b[ ]' had two works out on Staalplaat, the first being is first work ever. So it makes perfectly sense when he comes over to Europe, the Staalplaat people put him up in the VPRO studio and have him record his work live. Kozo's earlier works on Staalplaat (and other labels, such as Selektion or V2) were rather densely layered and at times pretty noise, but in his in live work this is different. The densely layered part is still there, but the noise is gone. Kozo Inada is a drone artist, who cleverly builts up his music in one brush stroke. From a small, thin line to a massive stroke and when he takes the pencil off a short black hole occurs in which all sounds disappears. Everything is sucked away at that point. Here, in this forty three minutes this happens twice. After some twenty five or so minutes and at the end. Right after the black hole bird and insect sound occur, lik e a morning dawn rise. All the time in between the hole and the next hole is filled with taking the sound up again, little by little. Using computer software and treated field recordings, he depicts a beautiful, but dark world. And looking at the cover, the black hole sound theory is shared by others, like the designer of Staalplaat. A massive release. (FdW)

Kozo Inada & Frans de Waard

n[ ]

 (CD by temporary mountain[US]) 


The New York-based label temporary mountain is reasonable obscure, as I, with my 30 years in experimental music, hadn't heard of them before. And that's quite surprising to me because this release fits my taste like a glove! Yes, I'll start with how I'm usually ending. This is a great cassette / digital thingy one must have in one's collection.
Japanese sound artist Kozo Inada fills the first side. A name I hadn't heard of before but my oh my... He has two pieces entitled "n[0]" and "n[1]". The rest of his discography means these two titles should be considered a full release in contradiction of being some work made for a sampler or something. The pieces are well thought of and both very different yet alike. "n[0]" contains beautifully layered ambience and field recordings and has an overall surrealistic sound. Is that applause, or is it a combination of rain and wind? The minimalistic approach to dynamics really makes the different parts of this track come alive. The second track by Inada is likely about the placement of structures in a structureless environment. Repetitive manipulations of layers in a sound composition. So: Why the difficult choice of words? Well, it's not music for easy listening, even though the result is very open and accessible. You can hear Kozo really tried to make something beautifu!
l here, and it worked. A mesmerizing piece, taking you places you never thought of visiting. Time to dive into the discography of this hidden gem.
And then the reverse side, a single 20-minute piece by Frans de Waard. Lots of times, you can listen to a track and being a musician, you can analyze a bit how things are done - maybe professional deformation? But more often, with Frans' work, I cannot do so, which makes his work intriguing. The track is called "~*|0|*~", which doesn't reveal anything, but it's a collection of experiments within the same setting as Kozo. Some heavy use of delays but with different sonic input resulting in a zoviet:france feel at moments and then suddenly more towards something that can be found on the Touch label and then a vibe that would fit a pre-1990 Staalplaat album. The experiments with rhythms in the second part of the track aren't truly rhythmic in nature, but more, well, again zoviet:France comes to mind but now more the 'Digilogue'-era. Rhythms that are part of a drone, or maybe that are becoming a drone. Impressive or, as we say in the Netherlands: "Sterk spul".
This collaboration has been a thing that had to happen. Frans being a 'fan' of Kozo's work, really wanted to work with him after he (Kozo, not Frans) stopped producing music the normal way and focussed more on installations. That was 2007. They both worked and reworked each others sounds and talked about the content. So they both had sounds to be inspired from and directions in which to think. You would think there would be some recognizable parts here and there, but the result is completely different. (BW)



Various - Inflation (*0 "0.000" Remix)  

(CD by mu-label [Japan]) 



Various - Ju-Jikan  

(CD by 23five San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art [US]) 



Various - SoundTracks For Images  

(by Tu M'p3 [Italy]) 



Various - SoundTracks For Images  

(by Tu M'p3 [Italy]) 



Various - Open Mind  

(CD by Mori Art Museum [Japan]) 



Various -  

(CD by Resonance [UK]) 



Various - Sounding Spaces  

(CD by NTT Publishing [Japan]) 



Various - B!as: 2003  

(CD by Etat Lab [Taiwan]) 



Various - Port Doc.1-511  

(CD by Port [Japan]) 



Various - Bergbahn Remixes  

(CD by Code Inc. [Japan])