This page features selected media examples—drawn from original fieldwork recordings and other sources—which illustrate some of the events and contexts discussed in various chapters of Japanoise. Videos are in the main page below, sidebar contains the Electric Peekaboo Interactive Listening Device. For many more performance videos from my fieldwork, see my YouTube channel distortculture.

Chapter 1


Incapacitants (Bears, Osaka 2003)

‚ÄčIncapacitants (No Fun Fest, NYC 2007)

Masonna (Festival Beyond Innocence, Bridge, Osaka 2002)

Chapter 3

Hijokaidan (excerpt from Music for Psychological Liberation, Kansai TV 1994)

Chapter 4

Nihilist Spasm Band in Japan (clip from What About Me?, Zev Asher, 2001)

Chapter 5

Timisoara (Shibuya Nest, Tokyo 2002)

Guilty Connector (Bin Spark, Tokyo 2003)

Guilty Connector (King Cobra, Osaka 2012)

Chapter 6

Hanatarashi (Shinjuku, 1988)

Trailer for Eli Eli Lema Sabachthani (Aoyama Shinji, 2005)

Other Video Examples

Masonna clip on MTV's 120 Minutes, 1994 (w/host Thurston Moore)

Boadrum 77 (Brooklyn, NY 2007)


Electric Peekaboo: Interactive Listening  (excerpted from Introduction, pgs. 4-5)

I’ve got my headphones on, listening to Electric Peekaboo from the 1993 Merzbow record Brain Ticket Death, trying to make sense of the sounds I hear. The track begins with a one-second blast of sound, which shifts sharply downward in pitch before abruptly cutting out, as if taking a breath before releasing the long, harsh, continuous scream of Noise that follows. Sounds are split between the left and right speakers, creating two separate but interrelated layers of texture; other sounds are quickly panned between the two speakers to create a sense of movement in the flat landscape of the stereo field. Filters sweep across the distorted sound field, rippling through a stream of harsh frequencies. Beneath these timbral changes, there is another loop of sound, which repeats a two-second fragment of muted static. The distorted feedback begins to break up as some amplifier in the chain reaches the limit of its capacity. A microphonic feedback is introduced in the background, and the sound begins to short out as a thin hissing sound momentarily fills both channels. A new loop lurches into both channels at once, emitting a spitting chatter for two seconds and then submerging into a low hum. A vocal sound, like a moan, appears underneath the layers of feedback; it is unclear to me whether this is actually the sound of a human voice or some resonance created in the feedback process, or by a filter, or another pedal. Suddenly the Noise just ends, leaving me suspended in the buzzing stillness. A final burst blasts through the system, as if I’ve been unplugged from myself. But none of this really describes it at all: the overwhelming feeling of it, the shocking effect of the transitions between sounds, the shiver that runs up your spine when the Noise cuts out. It’s been three minutes, forty seconds—or a decade of listening, depending on how you look at it—and I am still struggling to hear what is going on.