Masonna – Masonna Vs. Banamara LP
Mademoiselle Anne Sanglante Ou Notre Nymphomanie Auréolé, the double-barreled name for Masonna , is one of most prolific, adventurous, and respected noise artists, making dozens of releases on his own legendary and astonishing label Coquette, presenting them in very limited editions, sometime totally confidential (one sole copy), and reflecting his predilection for 60’s psychedelic music revisited in its own very peculiar way. He transforms his voice into noise, feeding the microphone back through a process of extreme distortion. His shouts become clipped bursts of overloaded sound, doubled and extended by a delay that displace the sounds into stuttered blasts of static. From noise lines to minimal, warbling expanses, to the ambiences and schizoid thinking effects, it’s a journey into a versatile mind who we clearly never heard enough from. Masonna claims that his interest in making noise is rooted in childhood encounters with the sounds of destruction on tv. Initially playing in Japanese punk band The Sadist, active since the mid ’80s, as vocalist under aliases of Rin with his buddy and guitarist Michio Teshima, who founded Vanilla Records in 1985 to release the band’s works. In a very few years Michio’s label will become a reference point for all Japanese noise projects, releasing artists such as Violent Onsen Geisha, C.C.C.C., Incapacitants, Solmania, Aube, Merzbow and needless to say Masonna.
On 1988 Masonna released debut album Like a Vagina on cassette by Coquette (reissued on vinyl by Urashima last year), an overdriven blast of psychedelia and harsh noise, that would rattle everything in its wake. Masonna Vs. Bananamara, Masonna’s second release, was originally issued , of course, on Vanilla Records in 1989 in a tiny vinyl edition of 290 copies. Given its iconic status and rarity, it’s little wonder that it currently commands heavy figures on the secondary market. In classic DIY form, it was recorded at home by Masonna on a variety of instruments, with hallucinatory vocals, and used no mixing and overdubbing, rendering a startlingly visceral and dense effect.
Across the album’s two sides – containing a mind boggling 29 tracks – Masonna transforms his voice into noise, feeding the microphone back through a process of extreme distortion. His shouts become clipped bursts of overloaded sound, doubled and extended by a delay that displace the sounds into stuttered blasts of static, heavily underscored by explosive blistering guitars, and cascades of electronic noise, culminating as one of the most striking and emotive gestures in the entire genre of noise.
Absolutely incredible and visionary – not to mention an engrossing, challenging, and thrilling listen – Masonna Vs Bananamara vinyl reissue stands high among the most significant of the year, allowing us to witness where it all began for a hugely important artist’s lifelong commitment to an exploration of noise music. This beautiful pressing – issued as a deluxe vinyl edition of 299 copies – is the first ever reissue of this masterstroke of noise, faithfully reproducing every aspect of the original 1989 release on Vanilla Record. Truly stunning and historically monumental within the genre, it can’t be missed by any fan of Japanese experimental music and noise.
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