Exposé Online banner

Pak — 100% Human Hair
(RA Sounds Ra003, 2003, CD)

RonRuins — Big Shoes
(Magaibutsu MGC-20, 2001, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2003-08-01

100% Human Hair Cover artBig Shoes Cover art

Ron Anderson is a musician, composer and improviser who has been involved in numerous projects over the years, including Rat At Rat R, The Molecules, Vacuum Tree Head, Guapo, Metal Eater and many more bands and collaborative efforts, both in the US, Europe and Japan. As I write he is performing at FIMAV in Victoriaville, Quebec. His latest band is NY based 4-piece Pak, and 100% Human Hair is their debut recording, an aggressively complex over-the-top high energy outfit that drives hard, fast, and crazy. With a lineup of two guitars, bass and drums (vocals shared, with guest sax by Elliot Sharp on one track), to say their sound is intense and unpredictable is an understatement; it’s all high tension with little release – a brutal assault on the senses, yet a precise and carefully crafted one that leaves the impression that this would probably be one helluva band to see live. The most immediate reference points would be Japan’s Ruins or Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, although the former with English lyrics instead of a made-up language, and the latter sans any of the blues harp and slide – just the vocal styling, raw energy, and trout-mask schizophrenia. One might also be reminded of the short lived Swedish trio Kraldjursanstalten, at least as far as the rhythmic approach goes, which seems to change every measure and is impossible to tap your foot to! The level of complexity here is stunning and impressive, and the musicianship is nothing short of superb, but it’s definitely not something for the faint of heart or those looking for pretty symphonic stuff. Pak will kick your ass and leave you bruised and beaten. Just what you wanted, isn’t it?

Big Shoes is the second release by one of Anderson’s other projects, and as the name implies, it’s the trio of Ron Anderson (guitar, vocals, trumpet) and Ruins (Tatsuya Yoshida – drums, vocals keyboards, and Hisashi Sasaki – bass & vocals). Most are probably familiar with at least some of Ruins work, and that’s a good starting point for describing this: brutal slabs of bass and drums, heavy and direct, complex and relentless, although not as “zeuhl-ish” as some of their earlier work, plus the trio format and addition of guitars and trumpet give that aspect of the sound an additional dimension that makes it a bit more melodic, playful and edgy. In addition, Ronruins exhibits a more experimental and free side at times that’s totally unlike Ruins (at least any this writer is familiar with) and works well to give this disc a bit more variety. Overall, it’s a fun disc with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and plenty of raw energy to spare. As bonus tracks, two six-minute improvisations with vocalist Haco (from After Dinner) are included at the end.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2003 releases, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Pak, Ron Anderson, Tatsuya Yoshida, Ruins / Ruinzhatova, Haco, RonRuins

More info
http://ronanderson.bandcamp.com/album/100-percent-human-hair-remaster-2017

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Larry Kucharz - Blue Drawings and Text – Kucharz' latest work is split between seven softer flowing ambient pieces composed or reworked in 2007, most somewhat reminiscent of the work on some of his earlier 'Electrochoral' and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues