It’s difficult to imagine Toshimaru Nakamura with anything as conventional as an electric guitar slung over his shoulder. Since developing what he calls the “no-input mixing board” in the mid-1990s, the Tokyo-based noisemaker has earned a spot among his generation’s most influential avant-gardists.
But it’s true, he started out playing old-time rock and roll. Clearly not one for standing pat, he founded A Paragon of Beauty in 1992. As his work became increasingly innovative, his schedule grew increasingly jammed. He has a long list of solo albums and collaborative projects on his resume. He’s also worked extensively as a studio musician, despite leaving behind his axe.
This new recording is the ninth in his series of no-input mixing board recordings. The board works by connecting its inputs and outputs, and then manipulating the wide variety of electronic noise that results. Re-Verbed is very much the work of a world-class modernizer.
Its range is a testament to Nakamura’s progressive sensibilities. In less mature hands, the no-input board is well-suited to the production of scare-your-audience noise. Nakamura is more than capable of doing exactly that. But more often than not, he produces nuanced, absorbing music that transforms electronic accidents into genuinely inviting compositions.
Nakamura has toured extensively in Europe, North America, Argentina, New Zealand, Australian and of course Asia. He’s also welcomed countless musicians to Tokyo as a concert organizer, in the process adding to that global city’s reputation as a centre of progressive electronic music. He and Tetuzi Akiyama put together two seminal programs: the Improvisation Series at Bar Aoyama and the Meeting at Off Site series.