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Artist: GEROGERIGEGEGE, THE
Title: Moenai Hai
Format: Cass
Label: Irrational Arts
Country: UK
Price: $10.00
Limited edition of 150 copies. “Having basically dropped off the face of the earth fifteen years ago, Juntaro Yamanouchi givesMoenai Hai a sense of enigma: some contextual food for thought, and some inconclusive ideas. The sudden, low-hype release of Moenai Hai leads one to believe that The Gerogerigegeges creative driving force is conflicted, but dedicated, presenting something that needed to be said, but not how Yamanouchi might normally say it. Its sorta futile to outline The Gerogerigegeges typical modes of communication, as they range from onstage vacuum-cleaner masturbation to coprophagia, but by contrast, their newest offering is bizarrely sombre and deliberate. The album seeps with solitude and incongruity, made all the more effective at the hands of an artist known for being unabashedly honest. After the sloppy, self-aware half-heartedness of 2001s Saturdaynight Big Cock Salaryman, the sense of introspection on Moenai Hai is powerful.
Opener “Out of Saiga” consists of a light, rumbly texture and concrète noises, resembling an indeterminate city setting. It bears all the intimidation of a metropolis with none of the bustling life, as though the protagonist is walking down a street with their eyes closed, able to shut out all human noise within a ten-mile radius, allowing the crushing ambience of the distant background to settle. The metallic creaks and groans resemble derelict playground equipment, perhaps symbolizing how Yamanouchi has grown detached with his youth, but is nonetheless a shell of it, via his more raucous previous work that hangs over him like a cloud - only speculation, though. Eponymous follow-up “The Gerogerigegege”, allegedly composed over thirty years ago, hits with the impact of waking up in a surging electric chair. The heavy, shoegazey riff is a complete contrast to the opener, and charges the track with endless energy. At times, the main riff falls to the back, as JY delivers emotive, noisy guitar improvisations like a monologue overtop a shadowed, moving frame - this frame being a sweaty audience, totally unaware of the random mental sidestep. The outro is an extended tremolo fury, like the few seconds before a guitarist finishes a song with one final, explosive chord, only it never comes, as though JY is savouring it for all its worth. Titled appropriately, it typifies the physicality of The Gerogerigegege, but with the albums emotional hardships in tow.
Yet another complete 180, “Tokyo: Sea of Loser / Donors for USA” is minimalist, droning piano work, where each stroke coincides with empty space. While the emotional component works in conjunction with the albums themes - especially a sense of spacial limbo - its face-value worth is slightly ruined by an unnecessary runtime; it starts with boring dark ambient, endures twenty-ish minutes of boring dark ambient, and finishes with boring dark ambient. It conveys a feeling of being forgotten, and stuck in a weird transitory state; its the aftermath of nothingness. Its just a weird inclusion, as closer “Final Tuning” accomplishes what it couldnt, and actually bears the innuendo of the crushing title track, as though the disaster still hangs in the air. The music box is a significant post-tramatic symbol, as the childlike musical plaything seems oblivious to the subsided musical chaos; the presence of “Tokyo: Sea of Loser / Donors for USA” is all the more frustrating. In a way, the irresolution might be compared to Yamanouchis lengthy withdrawal and possible self-discovery - again, only speculation.
Despite being stylistically all-over-the-place, and hindered by “Tokyo: Sea of Loser / Donors for USA” s elongation breaking up the flow, Moenai Hai is a compelling reflection of Juntaro Yamanouchis absence. In hindsight, whats perhaps most interesting about Moenai Hai is the tragedy of its tameness. This is the same person that created Tokyo Anal Dynamite, and left a legacy of untouchable lunacy, baffling those who didnt immediately peg his output as nonsense. This is The Gerogerigegege trying for an uncertain audience, with an uncertain message, for uncertain response, and no recourse. Its the sound of a broken man dismantling.” - Sputnikmusic.

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