Rival Consoles - Overflow
June 28, 2022
Takehiro Mukai begins Multiple Connections with a whirring, glass-like noise. Like a sound from deep in the mechanisms of some large factory, it’s not long before a sequenced bassline is dragged up and down along with the noise. The song sets a steady if not slow pace. As all the separate parts begin to join together a web of mechanised sound is revealed to the listener. Each individual part meshes with its surroundings as they worked like an interlinked chain. The odd bit of distortion is thrown out now and again, as sounds push past the realms of safety and are frazzled in the heat.
#309 begins with a similarly sequenced beat, high pitched polyphonic beeping revolves constantly. Takahiro brings in an instrumental gradually that has a flexibility and portamento quality and gives an incredible amount of dynamic. Behind that, a noise sounding like a dentist drill begins to emerge. It seems as though the artist is a master of increment, bringing in instruments unbeknownst to the listener until they have reached their full volume.
A scratchy tune plays out as a repeating bass note keeps everything in check at the start of #327. A sibilant rhythm is brought in over the top that bandies around the stereo field. A line of distortion begins to challenge the rhythmic and melodic elements of the track, pushing against them in an effort to stop their syncopation. The parts of Takahiro’s songs work in a utilitarian fashion, each little bit doing its job, trying to keep the track in a state of equilibrium as distortion claws from outside.
#310 fades in with a note revolving gradually. It acts as a lighthouse, a sound signifying stability as wobbling bass tones appear underneath. The track crawls along the floor with a robotic sensibility, save for high pitches notes that come wheeling off at the start of every bar. Instruments bubble and squeak, performing unseen calculations and manoeuvres. One in particular starts chirping out a melodic tune, and we watch something turn from zombie-like repetition to sentience and then disappear once again. The song slowly fades from view as the hardworking parts die away.
A huge bass stabs against the stereo field in #328. Takahiro presents his most abrupt start as percussive elements try to catch up with the sudden sound of the bass. The track begins to amble forward, driven by the heavy plodding of the bass. White noise builds up behind it as it chunters onward. Certainly the most heavy handed song so far, Takahiro allows the bass to jab out with granular punches. The note doesn’t seem to change, but the rhythm is infectious.
#313 begins with a grumbling granular synth and tinkling high notes peeling up and down. Takahiro Mukai presents a catalogue of sounds as the dynamic of the song begins to widen. Like the dripping of some mechanical water pipe, the artist stretches out samples to sound like smal glitches that dissipate quickly. Again, the bassline keeps the track uniform. It’s rhythmic interjection allowing each part to complete its task. At some points the high pitched sound brays like a dying horse and the sense of faultless robotics is broken for a brief second.
#325 starts in the midst of a whirring and wobbling bassline. The percussion bursts in, more aggressive than usual as it sounds like Takahiro is EQing for the dance floor. Alarm sounds turn into binary melodies, the track moves with this sense of caution and danger. The artists feeds a crackling sound right through the middle, drawing this listeners attention with dissonant noise. A master of minimalism when it comes to change and transition, a great many parts stay sounding the same. But it’s the gentle nudging in and out of distortion that gives each track a well-rounded quality.
#316 concludes our journey through Takahiro’s strange mechanised world. Balloons bounce and buffet of each other, making squeaking noises as they pass. An alternating percussive sound begins, sometimes ending on an up note, sometimes heading down. A higher pitched tune enters, clambering up and down slowly. It’s only at this track that the game reveals itself. Through throwing so many alternating, randomised sounds into the atmosphere, Takayuki causes this chaotic brilliance. The listener can not ascertain whether the track is travelling up or down, it’s all hidden within a cloud of movement. A viper-like crackling feeds off the track, screeching horribly. The track continues its journey, unharmed by the venomous cacophony.
The nature of Multiple Connections is one of uniformity. The numbered tracks almost lead us to believe that each one is merely a stage of operation in some huge machines movement. We hear it’s endless operation and calculation as it’s set upon by distorted insurgents. Takahiro creates a fascinating atmosphere, one of cold calculation and measurement. The sounds rarely leave their path unless explicitly told to do so. Each aspect working towards one end goal.
Listen in full/buy on minidisc here: houdinimansions.bandcamp.com/album/multiple-connections