Exposé Online banner

Richard Pinhas and Merzbow — Keio Line
(Cuneiform Rune 278/279, 2008, 2CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2009-07-01

Keio Line Cover art

Having redefined the scale of sonic monumentalism with the 2006 two-disc set Metatron, Keio Line cleaves to the opposite – a two disc set of comparatively simple instrumentation reliant upon the real-time reconfiguration of signals. To again borrow from Kurt Schwitters, Keio Line is clearly an audio merzbau, collage-like rambles using scraps of audioforms and phrases generated by guitar with de rigueur pedals, a synth, and the now omnipresent laptop. For Schwitters, "merz" was a contraction of the German word "schmerz," meaning pain. And while the pain here is implicit, never overt, the music is often reassuringly familiar. The signal path – where so much effort now resides – results in a restless sonic amalgam, admirably uncertain, all deftness in the soundstage and still radiant with the digital metaphor of the analog ideal. But set beside other signal paths, this one seems too well-worn. By now one wonders if Pinhas is asking himself even the most rudimentary questions about his approach. While phrases subsumed by reprocessing and laptopification swirl and shudder with unflagging conviction in the pulsing spontaneium, they occasionally surface and are readily recognizable from as long ago as Allez Teia, the Heldon album featuring such loving invocations of Fripp's 70s sostenudo. Keio Line may simply demonstrate that we've lived long enough to cross the generational threshold, innovation now belonging to those born into the digital milieu, not grafted onto it, and consequently being the better suited in surveilling the new terrain.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Pinhas, Merzbow (Masami Akita)

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...

Anekdoten - A Time of Day – Anekdoten’s first release in three years finds them on familiar ground. In the 90s they pioneered combining alt rock grunge with the heavy prog of 70s King Crimson. They’re back at it...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues