Ydestroyde - Synzosizer
Sometimes I really miss the glory days of the Kansai scene in the 90s, especially the early to midperiod Boredoms records that had a great "Sesame Street on PCP" vibe that sat perfectly with my youthful need for music that could simultaneously amuse and terrorize. Those days are mostly gone, with cut & paste montage/collage approaches abandoned in favor of psych/tribal long-form work. The newer stuff is enjoyable in different ways, but I still crave the less-controlled energy release potential in the short disjointed freakouts on albums like Pop Tatari or the Ruins/Omoide Hatoba collab album from '94.
Enter Ydestroyde, whose work has been floating around Japan for the last decade but rarely heard in the US. With the release of Synzosizer on Public Eyesore, we now have a stateside taste of this fascinating stylistic bridge between the scattered/deconstructive japanoise approch of yore and newer slow-build psychedelic impulses.
This iteration of Ydestroyde is mostly a solo effort by founding member Synzou, who sings and programs, though most tracks also feature guitar contributions from Shintaro Kinoshita. The music isn't as cut-up as some of the earlier Osaka noiserock referenced above, but the vocals often take me back to that vibe with screams perfectly placed in rhythmically exciting moments on tracks like "Hissatsu," or the simple repetitions of words or short phrases found throughout the record. Musically there is a punk influence, and the riffs are allowed to extend over full compositions, creating grooves rather than obliterating them. I hear a Misfits vibe at times, or something along the lines of the best riffage on old Mad Capsule Markets albums. And the drum programming and synth sounds frequently point to breakcore influences.
But ultimately I hear this as a sort of amped up electropsychedelic release, though it attains this atmosphere without resorting to the standard psych tropes of reverbs and delays. When Killed in Cars head honcho Paul was guesting on the Other Music program a couple of months ago, we talked about the nature of contemporary psych bands, and he pointed out how a generous application of reverb can have a transformative effect on a typical blues riff, practically transubtantiating a blues/rock track into an outer space psych experience. Generally I agree--there are lots of bands creating an "outer space" vibe that way.
Ydestroyde is different. This music makes it to orbit with relatively dry ambient spaces. But we start our journey in space, asserting "THIS IS SPACE" repeatedly in the first few minutes, and Ydestroyde sustains the excitement of a rocket ride throughout the album. The exquisite programming, sample editing, and synth playing create a compelling, expansive atmosphere, leaving room for guitar riffs to lumber across alien landscapes while the dry, spoken/yelled vocals hit listeners head-on. Interestingly, the first s/t Ydestroyde effort did rely partly on a reverb + lo-fi production to drive its point home, and I don't care for it nearly as much. The general musical approach here is similar, but it sounds like this album was produced with a lot more studio time and clearer goals.
It succeeds. The riffs are relentless, the percussion alternates between energetic drive and jarring interruption in all of the perfect places, and the vocals take me back to my first memories of hearing Japanese rock approaches in the early 90s, the beginning of a long strange love affair with music that can follow its muse on its own terms. THIS IS SPACE!
--first published at Killed in Cars