review by FdW
on Vital Weekly 1024 ( jan 2016 )


Despite his collaborative work with Leif Elggren, Kouhei Matsunaga, Vampilia and The Body
I never heard of Japanese sound artist Masayuki Imanishi. He has a few previous releases
on labels as Gender-Less Kibbutz, Deserted Factory, Psych.KG, A Giant Fern, Creative sources
and obs, in a period of nine years, so not really a lot. His instruments are paper,
microphone, radio, field recordings and various objects. Of course we learned over the years
that Ini.itu is a label to release exotic music and there is usually a connection to make to
the country of Indonesia, but on 'Tone' that doesn't seem to be the case, unless of course
I missed the connection. Instead we have here something that is fine reminder of what was
once called 'microsound'; music that operates on a more microscopic level. A few sounds here,
and a few there, some loops of radio transmissions, carefully placed crackles and pops, the
rustling of paper being amplified. All of this is about small sounds; and small sounds that
are meant to sound small. From the various points of interest, the ones that I think come
close to what Imanishi does is Steve Roden and Rolf Julius. There is not a wealth of sound
effects, or a massive production but simply, perhaps naive music. I quite enjoyed this,
especially the long piece on the second side, but I must also admit that for me this record
was not something new; it brought back good memories to all that quiet microsound music from
ten to fifteen years ago, and it didn't seem to me that Imanishi added a new insight to that
world. That perhaps I thought was a pity; the aspect of innovation was missed. Otherwise I
think this had some wonderful music, as Imanishi knows to play his instruments/objects quite
well. Perhaps this is the oddball in the Ini.itu catalogue? (FdW)