SHINKIRO  Cycle Of Rebirth  CD   (SSSM)   12.98

††† Released on Contagious Orgasm's in-house label SSSM, Shinkiro's Cycle Of Rebirth is the latest full-length from Japanese artist Manabu Hiramoto's latest outfit, previously known for his ghostnoise recordings with the Kotodama project. With Shinkiro, Hiramoto pursues even darker currents of electronic soundscapery, crafting some really impressive spectral shadow-drenched driftscapes and excursions into glistening black electronica.

††† Made up of five "cycles" inspired by Buddhist cosmology, the album starts off on oceanic waves of liquid sound drifting beneath vast vaulted skies, the sounds of fluid swirling and sloshing in a lightless void as titanic steel-girders groan and bend in the distance, and monstrous reverberations drift and bubble up from the depths. From there, Hiramoto plunges deeper into his mysterious, alien soundworld, drifting into mesmeric synthesizer sequences where gleaming arpeggiated notes loop through the low-hanging atmosphere, like fragments of a p[particularly ominous-sounding Tangerine Dream score being swept far out to sea beneath the veil of night, as soft electronic drones pulse in the deep like remnants of inverted starlight. That kosmische quality courses throughout Rebirth, often as a subtle shimmering ambience that hovers like a nocturnal heat-haze over the deep, rumbling drones and murky, muted environmental recordings, sometimes coalescing into a throbbing, soundtracky pulse that resembles a super-minimal John Carpenter score or the darkest corners of the Bad Sector discography, or else into a gorgeous piece of ethereal, New Agey electronics fluttering over a brutal, distorted sheet-metal rhythm.

††† Deeper into the album, though, the sounds turn darker and more abrasive. Eventually Hiramoto unleashes gales of low-frequency noise and distortion, sculpting dense dronescapes from waves of crushing tectonic sound and strafing these rumbling psychedelic fields with harsh metallic tones and sweeping spacey effects; on "3rd Cycle", that sound shifts into a pummeling tribal rhythm and distorted synth riff that suddenly cranks tense atmosphere to an almost unbearable level, like some weird fusion of Brad Fiedel's industrial score for The Terminator and Blood Music-era Yen Pox. It's great stuff that straddles a variety of forms, the tracks moving through a strange middle ground between vast, fearsome emanations from some upper level of Jigoku and a sleeker, more modern electronic ambience. And the fourth track, while the shortest, is by far my favorite, an eerie synthesizer piece coated in sleek black 80's gloss akin to the best of Prurient's more recent nocturnal synth endeavors. All in all, Rebirth is terrific stuff, a striking piece of dark post-industrial art that continues to draw me back for repeated listening. Comes in gatefold packaging.

Track Samples:
Sample : SHINKIRO-Cycle Of Rebirth
Sample : SHINKIRO-Cycle Of Rebirth
Sample : SHINKIRO-Cycle Of Rebirth