K2  Ha Ga Ne  CD   (Triangle)   8.98

When it comes to the Japanese harsh noise underground, K2 reigns as one of the field's most ferocious sound-destroyers, forging a brutal "junk noise" aesthetic that employs spastic sound editing, psychedelic electronics and chaos strategies to create immensely abrasive and cathartic blasts of extreme noise-art. I'm such a big fan of K2 (aka Kimihide Kusafuka, who by day works as a cancer pathologist) and the brand of harsh noise that he's been perfecting since 1983 that we trawled his catalog for his most merciless recordings, and have come up with a stack of old and new releases that are all recommended listening for fans of maximum sonic chaos.

A surgical pathologist by trade, Kimihide Kusafuka started out in the early 80s as a participant in the international mail-art scene; later, fueled by the energy and aesthetics of punk, Kusafuka began to record under the K2 name, using the sound of metal scrap and junk and cheap electronic instruments and then cutting these noises apart and re-assembling them into his now signature collage of unbridled chaos. By the time of K2's Metaloplakia, Kusafuka had established his sound as one of the more extreme strains of noise coming out of Japan, notable for both its violent volume levels and speed.

One of the more recent K2 titles we tracked down is Ha Ga Ne. Released on Polish imprint Triangle in a limited edition of two hundred-fifty copies in a cardboard wallet (accompanied by an insert with liner notes from Kusafuka), this 2010 disc is a prime cut of K2's brand of ultra-violent Dadaist chaos at its most rabid. The album features just three tracks, two of 'em sprawling out for roughly half an hour apiece; all of 'em are savage, searing blasts of rapid-fire cut-up noise recorded with a great deal of clarity. A near non-stop onslaught of juddering metallic drones, spastically edited noise, mind-melting effects-pedal manipulation, brutal cyborg screams and blasting flesh=shedding glitchery, tossed into avalanches of metal-shop clatter and sliced-up screams. This stuff can be seriously terrifying. An occasional fractured rhythm will occasionally lurch out of the maelstrom, and you can also detect the barest glimmers of inhuman, quasi-musical forms peering out from this jumbled, fast-moving noise collage, like broken melodic sequences from some deconstructed Derbyshire/BBC soundtrack, moments that enhance the brutal psychedelic effect of being subjected to K2's screaming mainframe/factory/flesh-metal conversion factory.

Despite the seemingly random nature of K2's noise collages and the resemblance to a demonically-possessed pachinko parlor or a symphony of skipping CD players all clotted with gore and metal shrapnel, this stuff towers over most imitators, as the attentive listener can easily detect a diabolical logic at work behind it all.

Track Samples:
Sample : K2-Ha Ga Ne
Sample : K2-Ha Ga Ne