Sunao Inami: Disinfectant

Recorded in Tokyo in May, 2009, Sunao Inami's seventh album is a seventy-minute set that's both live and not-live: what Inami did was remix and reconstruct unreleased live recordings in such a way that new tracks were spawned from the basic live materials. What makes Disinfectant feel live, however, is its set-like flow through fifteen, uninterrupted tracks and a mix-like build that sees it segue from a somewhat ambient-styled atmospheric opening to more aggressive episodes, including a number of techno throwdowns. Technically speaking, Inami's complex material is rooted in DSP-based electronic improvisation strategies with the producer using NI Reaktor 5, Ableton Live 8, and JazzMutant Lemur v2 to generate an ever-mutating barrage of agitated sounds.

Things begin calmly with the intro's subdued windstorm but that quickly changes when “Instrumental (Live RMX)” arrives armed with bass throbs, clattering beats, and voices so distorted they're liquified. Disinfectant can be a challenging listen: “Legacy of Mangler (Live RMX)” turns particularly frenzied when angled beats convulse and fractured traces of amen breaks surface, and “The Man who Sold the Calculator (Live RMX I)” hits just as hard when tribal synthetic beats hammer alongside squeals writhing in seeming agony for ten pounding minutes. Such material is both high volume and intense, but it's also infectious, especially when the beats kick in with such force. Inami wisely brings the activity level down in the subsequent tracks before tackling android disco-funk in “Wall of Tokyo,” the even clubbier “Urchin (Live RMX),” and the set's most banging cut, “You Daren't Look Behind (Live RMX).” Such material reveals Inami to be just as capable of incinerating the dance floor as he is eardrums.

October 2009