Richard Pinhas/Tatsuya Yoshida/Masami Akitaity- Process And Reality album review

Corrosive art-noise from international trio

Richard Pinhas/Tatsuya Yoshida/Masami Akitaity Process And Reality cover art

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In his native country, guitarist/composer Richard Pinhas is often seen as the French equivalent of Edgar Froese, a pioneer of electronic avant rock who came of age during the 1970s. Since winding up Heldon at the end of that decade, he’s been a prolific solo artist and willing collaborator.

This latest release finds him joining forces with two icons of the Japanese underground: drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, guiding light of jazz proggers Ruins, and Masami Akita, aka noise rock pathfinder, Merzbow. Process And Reality is an uncompromising experience, a carefully-sustained barrage of sound that attempts to capture the dissolution of a post-industrial world. Akita lays down droney electronica and Yoshida offers relentlessly percussive jazz beats, as Pinhas creates convulsive rhythms on guitar that take the whole thing into the realm of experimental space rock. The centrepiece is TVJ 33 (Core Track), a punishing improv jam that never lets up over 36 minutes. All of this might seem overly challenging were it not for the trio’s artful command of tempo and texture, each member imbuing things with their own distinct personalities without ever threatening to take over completely. Punishing, yes, but also highly engaging.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.