SUGIMOTO, TAKU  Mienai Tenshi  LP   (Weird Forest)   18.99

his subsequrnt experiments in avant-garde guitar mutation that led to a world of strange percussive , lyrical soundscapes , often imbued with a quiet, faded beauty on classic albums like Myshkin Musicu and the almost mystical minimalism of his collab with Cristian Alvear, ‘h’.

But that's not what you get here. Nope.

As it turned out, Sugimoto's actual debut album was this, Mienai Tenshi, an incendiary blast of extreme guitar noise performed solo, recorded live at the Tokyo venue Yaneura in latee February of 1988, then issued in a tiny private, self-released pressing of one hundred copies. Now available on a slightly larger scale via Weird Forest, this new presentation of Tenshi better captures the atmosphere of the sounds cut into this processed petroleum; although the label has lovingly included reproductions of the original insert sheet, the record is now housed in a pitch-black sleeve with embossed lettering, matching the color of your charred bones once you're done exposing yourself to Sugimoto's total obliteration. In the annals of experimental extreme noise-guitar improvisation, this motherfucker is at the top of the heap for sheer violent power. It's obvious that Sugimoto was coming from a psychedelic rock position, but man, this stuff goes beyond. It's all basically one eponymous piece, taking his amplified, incredibly distorted electric guitar and transforming it into a goddamn flamethrower, an assault of piercing high-end feedback skree, freeform riffing, atonal shredding and harmonic squeals, kicking off a complete cacophony that fans out from the speakers.

But as you move through this sonic warzone, which is cathartic enough on its own if you're a fan of extreme axe torture and free-improvisation, Sugimoto pulls back the squall for short periods where a quasi-bluesy vamp will show up, or an epiphanic chug-a-thon coms out of nowhere grinding the air beneath its force, these motes and chunks of form and structure that spill out of his relentless assault on the instrument. I think it's awesome. Dizzying. A standout in the late 80's Japanese improv underground, summoning up gales of destructive force and atonal abomination, only to be largely abandoned by Sugimoto within a very short time.

The label draws reference points to the TOYKO HYPER-SPEEDFREAK PSYCHBLAST underground, which is cetainly reasonable, but they also cite the pioneering Japanese jazz / improv guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi as another pole of possible influence. An interesting notion, as Sugimoto's attack shares some of the similiar pointilist note clusters and intemsely expressive string warping ________________

But this album also ranks up there with the most ear-beating industrial-strength skronk of Matt Bower and Skullflower, Ramleh's guitars at their most unhinged, even the more recent string-battery that Marcia Bassett has done with her Zaïmph project.

Hell, therre are a couple of moments on this platter that could easily pass for an extended Greg Ginn solo.