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Nakajima, Rie / Takahiro Kawaguchi: Utsuho [CASSETTE w/ DOWNLOAD] (Tsss Tapes)

Rapid and lucid activity of mechanical and organic activity, a mad mechanism under the control of master machinists perking the ears in inexplicable ways, from the collaboration of Japanese sound artists Rie Nakajima and Takahiro Kawaguchi, their uncredited sources seemingly a mix of motors, bells, squeaky toys, material flurries, whistles, &c. &c.; playfully fascinating.

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product information:

Label: Tsss Tapes
Catalog ID: tst 029
Squidco Product Code: 32245

Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Italy
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded by Yoshiyuki Suzuki.


Rie Nakajima-performer, composer

Takahiro Kawaguchi-performer, composer

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Artist Biographies:

"Rie Nakajima is a Japanese artist working with installations and performances that produce sound. Her works are most often composed in direct response to unique architectural spaces using a combination of kinetic devices and found objects. She has exhibited and performed widely both in the UK and overseas and has produced 'Sculpture' with David Toop since 2013. With Keiko Yamamoto she has a music project 'O YAMA O' which explores music with no genre. She also has a collaborative project 'Dead Plants/Living Objects' with Pierre Berthet. She has recently had her first major solo exhibition at IKON Gallery in Birmingham."

-Rie Nakajima Website (

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"Born in OSAKA, JAPAN, in 1980. Works in OSAKA and TOKYO base sound artist. Takahiro started to work, from 2000, in various fields as "Fieldrecording", "Sound Installation" and "Sound performance". The common concept of all his works is: "Space recognition through the sounds". He has released six CD / CDR from domestic and foreign labels which are specialized in experimental music. And three other CD projects are going on for 2007. He has also been very active in his international and interdisciplinary projects in the year of 2006 : Creation of his new peace at Slade Research Centre in LONDON, UK Collaboration with dance and photography in the installation work:"Three", at BankArt Yokohama, Japan (Project involved in the Japan Media Arts Festival promoted by the Ministry of Culture of Japan)."

-Gruenrekorder (

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track listing:


1. Untitled 22:19


1. Untitled 23:33
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Crickets chirping, cicadas whining, bees buzzing: the sonic charm of insects rests on their ability to make noise without thinking about it, to swell into a clicking, buzzing cacophony that seemingly has no intention or reason. We tend to work so hard at organizing sound, squeezing it into complex forms and shapes to give it meaning. But the sound of long grass filled with crickets remains enchanting in its own, unstudied way.

On Utsuho, Rie Nakajima and Takahiro Kawaguchi create a shifting web of unidentifiable noises that sounds more insect than human, more unconscious than analytical. On their first collaborative release, Nakajima, a London-based sculptor and installation artist, and Kawaguchi, a Japanese musical experimenter, reveal a fondness for self-made instruments and repurposed gadgets, blending their homemade arsenals to explore a cohesive new sonic palette. It's fun to guess where each noise originates: is that a little clapping toy, a wind-up robot, bicycle spokes, metal dragging on the floor, or an egg timer going off? Throughout the simply titled "Side A" and "Side B," these and other sonic odds and ends dance in a flurry of activity that is at once mechanical and organic, a chorus of robotic insects clicking their little hearts out.

Rhythm is at the core of Utsuho, but not in the sense of a steady pulse or a dance-able groove. Instead, repeated clicks, scrapes, and whirs are layered to create compound rhythms that drive the music forward as they stop, start, and interact. Pitch seems like something of an afterthought: sounds with steady tones rear their heads occasionally in the form of wobbling metal sheets, whistles, beeps, and gongs. New sounds appear all the time, but even seemingly large entrances of new instruments or noises can be deceiving in their brevity. The sounds come and go in elegant fashion, entering just long enough to keep the ears searching for more, and never overstaying their welcome. At one point on Side A, what sounds like two kazoos enter, center stage, louder than much of what came before, and are never heard again.

The two sides of this tape sound like one 45 minute improvisation session, as if the artists gathered every instrument they had and played them when inspiration struck. Surrounded by an ungodly assortment of noise-making detritus, contraptions and everyday objects, Nakajima and Kawaguchi weave a musical texture of cicadas, scrap metal, and microwave beeps that marries the organic with the constructed and the improvised with the carefully planned. Like a dense field of insects, Utsuho can be both hypnotic and inscrutable, both specific and abstract. There are no real climaxes or builds, no points of arrival. Yet the whole is always shifting, and is more than the sum of its parts."-Peter Tracy, A Closer Listen

Get additional information at A Closer Listen
Related Categories of Interest:

Electroacoustic Composition
Objects and Home-made Instruments
Organized Sound and Sample Based Music
Duo Recordings
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
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