And boom! And boom! And boom! With 13 tracks in under 29 minutes, Stunting Noise is a collection of abbreviated bombast. Leedian (Japan’s Hitoshi Asaumi) hails from a town called Toon, and the name fits the material to a T. The album is a mixture of IDM splatters, hip-hop rhythms, explosions and pratfalls, coming across like Wile E. Coyote jacked up on Red Bull, taped to a mixing desk. Like Toontown, Stunting Noise doesn’t follow rules with any consistency; at times it’s melodic, at times noisy, often both. The beats are sometimes rhythmic, sometimes abstract. So many ideas are packed into each track that they burst at the seams like overstuffed piñatas. Whenever a “regular” instrument appears – for example, a piano on “Triton” – it arrives through a field of distortion and seems like a warped, discarded version of itself. And yet, no sounds, even the wandering synths and gutted electronics that permeate the recording, seem improvised; what first seems random becomes intentional the more the album is played.
There are few obvious singles here. It’s not that kind of album. The tracks are too short and devoid of dancefloor tropes to allow such traction. But they possess the vapors of the club, the vigor and the violence. “Where is the light” is indicative of this veiled undercurrent. The tribal drum is present, the shattered treble. And closing track “Sly” plays with expectation, looping a rap snippet over a duct tape beat while warblings and smoky ivories swirl. Stunting Noise recognizes exactly what the mainstream wants it to be, then cleverly rejects it, re-appropriating it for its own purposes. “Tang” is like a bludgeon, two minutes of heat that sounds like Venetian Snares and Aphex Twin being played simultaneously in a blast furnace. Boom boxes beware.
The neighbors won’t like it. Cats and dogs will probably flee. But Stunting Noise is a valuable resource, an album turned inside out, displaying its lovely guts for all to see. (Richard Allen)
Release date: June 1