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Nerve Net Noise

Japan’s Nerve Net Noise works with homemade analog synthesizers to make some of the most uniquely strange music this side of anywhere. Think Pan Sonic crossed with Jessica Rylan and you’re halfway there and still not even close. Rhythms are eccentric and repetitive, referencing techno, and yet they’re utterly undanceable. They’re wonderful, if they don’t drive you up a tree, that is! You love them or you hate them; there simply is no middle ground.

Nerve Net Noise began in the late nineties as collaboration between artist and instrument-builder, Hiroshi Kumakiri (aka Kumax), and techno producer, Tsuyoshi Nakamaru (aka Tagomago). Now a Kumakiri solo project (Nakamaru left shortly after the release, earlier this year, of Dark Garden their eighth full-length on Intransitive), Nerve Net Noise is performing for the first time in the U.S. on New Years Eve as part of the First Night festivities in Boston (proving, incidentally, that yes, in fact, Boston is the hub of the universe).

On New Years Day NNN will perform live on Rare Frequency. Kumax will play a solo set as well as a collaborative set with Boston’s own Jessica Rylan (their first performance together, which should be quite exciting!). Kumax answered a few questions by email the week prior to the show.

How and why did Nerve Net Noise form?

I started making synthesizers 15 years ago.
I showed them at some galleries.
Then, a label owner (like Howard) invited me to play and record a CD.
Tagomago helped me.

What did you do before Nerve Net Noise?

I painted pictures and made sculptures. I showed them at galleries.

Were you involved in other musical projects? If yes, what were they?

After Nerve Net Noise started, I played with some musicians, such as Phonhpen Model (Techno) and drop tone (fork song).

Are there any artists, musicians, etc. who particularly inspire you?

I can’t say well. Nerve Net Noise was started as way to show my synthesizers. I learn through playing with other musicians. That influence might be big.

Could you describe some of the synthesizers you use?

My synthesizers are my longing for wonderful future, such as science fictions or TV animations. And also, they are my answer of how the world is.

Have you built any new instruments recently? Do you have a favorite synthesizer?

One day before I left Japan, my synthesizer got one more oscillator. Recently, I got a “DS-10” (Nintendo video game). I love it.

What is the compositional process like with Nerve Net Noise?

First, we decide the date of recording. Next, we play the synthesizers. Then, something happens. We take care not to be similar to our old work.

How has Nerve Net Noise changed since Tagomago left and it became a solo project?

Slowly. And Nerve Net Noise needs you!!

What are your plans for 2009? Any NNN releases in the works?

In early 2009, I plan to play with another musician. Maybe. He plays percussion. It will be improvised.

Here’s a video of Nerve Net Noise live in Tokyo from 2003.

-Susanna Bolle


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