Words are different to sounds in that the images they create are limited. They’re like a two-edged sword – sometimes they can be used effectively, but sometimes they restrict the range of the images employed. When I was young I read Wittengenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations” and that led me to start thinking about the importance of pinning down thought through the medium of language. Escaping into sound because of your own inarticulacy with language, and using sound to express what cannot be expressed in words are two sides of the same equation. – Jojo Hiroshige
Jojo’s music has always been a far more communicative medium than one might imagine from his fearsome reputation as the founder of Dionysian noise extremists Hijokaidan and the home of Japanese independent music, Alchemy Records. Rather than a fingers-in-ears rejection of social interaction, his music has always been created out of collaborative contexts, out of spaces where noise and the flesh of more than one performer can collide, to find and create meanings beyond the normal rules of linguistic interaction. It is the very possibilities of that space beyond words that has led Jojo to continually surround himself with new collaborators. So it’s fitting that Jojo’s release, the final one in the Shokyo Ontei series, should be the only one that turns its back on the relationship of music to a text. Unlike his previous solo releases, where vocals had always played a key role, here Jojo is caught alone with his guitar. Linguistic and social encoding falls away, leaving only the body, the instrument, the will.
This “play the two records at the same time” thing is very surprising. Even with a random shift of about a quarter of an hour, some parts sound beautiful and moving, as if intentionally composed this way. Also, I find it interesting that some rather gloomy sections become almost cheerful when combined. Truly a mind-boggling work. Alice M.