Hideo Nomo – Dire Aging [CS]

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dire_aging.jpeg

Hideo Nomo – Dire Aging [CS]

10.00

Label: 777 Was 666

Year: 2016

Format: Cassette

Hideo Nomo is the partnership of Mike Collino and Knox Mitchell, both from Michigan, found here operating under the auspices of a Japanese label. Japan is the original home of the duo's namesake pitcher, and I can easily imagine seeing either of these guys' names on an old Topps card—so the stars have aligned for this one. Dire Aging creates an atmosphere that could either be meditative or cause for dread, depending on how deep the listener chooses to investigate. Much of the first side is centered around an interplay of calmly abrasive textures over some stark violin whimpering, channeling the more soothing side of what it would be like to observe a group of people build primitive weapons from a distance. Pitched down string/bell/chime tones add an element of continuity and something vaguely approaching an abandoned melody. There’s also a fair amount of raw electrical throb that never gets out of hand, nor does it undercut the organic qualities comprising Dire Aging's aesthetic strong suit. On the flip side is a longer piece entirely dedicated to a piano performance subject to a dour recontextualization. Minimal gestures manage to corrupt the tonal elements enough that it's as if the performer of an otherwise 'nice' piece of music is becoming slowly cognizant of the undeniable signs of food poisoning. The unusual added harmonics and stray artifacts make this a more interesting scene on a purely sonic level, although what exactly is going on here remains unclear. I’m curious to hear what the first side would sound like with the veil (or rather, dust-covered tarp) lifted slightly to offset the murkiness factor a few degrees, the results thus far are plenty satisfying. If another recording emerges with a less obscured take on the creaking, seasick M.O. of this one, it’d certainly be welcome. Assembling the first side as a tasting menu of brief passages was a savvy move; one can only hope this is intentional, and that we haven't been given a scant handful of ripe plums from an otherwise unsavory tree of basement jam sessions (I have faith, though, particularly in Mr. Dog Lady). The Darksmith artwork is what initially got my attention (anything Tom touches is a must-have). Fortunately, there’s an abundance of intrigue and shadowy ambience contained in the sounds of Dire Aging to make it far more than some finely rendered drawings of the Tornado, perfect for you to to display alongside your other sports memorabilia.

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