Wasabi Tapes continue to be the go-to destination in Japan for nerve-frying experimental music, and the label’s two newest albums highlight two sides to their approach. PF’s Dreamscape recalls the chaotic sample-deluge of DJWWWW and N. Brennan’s Scary Moments series, with sounds sourced from radio station bumps, movies and video games (MONSTER KILL) colliding together. The magic of Dreamscape — and all of Wasabit Tapes broken-pinball-machine music — is how disparate elements click into bizarre patterns, how the ping-ponging voices of “N.M.F” come together so nicely, or the title track’s discombobulated splendor. Then there are the moments of surprising beauty, some short lived (the last 30 seconds of “Joyful Kobelco,” emerging from the hip-hop wreckage behind it to deliver the suavest stretch of music ever found on an experimental Japanese release) to extended (the surprisingly intact shimmers of “Unknown Bar Band” and “Meltdown”). Get it here, or listen below.
The other side is more trance-like. Pachinko Machine Music 3 builds on the premise of the first two installments — tack the hypnotic, crushing sound of Pachinko machines, and loop them — by having more moments that feel added in, a noise here or sudden clang there. Still the dominant noise across these four tracks is of clattering metal balls and electronics, recalling the sensation of entering a parlor…or just walking by as the sliding door belches out noise. Get it here, or listen below.