Noise music challenges traditional aesthetics by embracing chaos, unpredictability, and the raw power of sound. It rejects the pursuit of melodic or harmonic beauty in favor of exploring the full spectrum of sonic possibilities. Noise artists often use extreme volume, harsh textures, feedback, screams and abrasive frequencies to confront and disrupt the listener’s expectations. Masonna, the rough noise project of the Japanese artist Yamazaki “Maso” Takushi, has long been revered for his uncompromising and extreme approach to sonic exploration.
Vestal Spacy Ritual, initially released on CD by the Japanese label Alchemy Records in 1999, is a testament to Masonna’s ability to create an overwhelming and mind-altering listening experience.
Vestal Spacy Ritual starts with a cacophonous explosion of distorted noise and frenzied electronic manipulation. From the very start, Masonna immerses the listener in a relentless sonic assault, utilizing piercing high frequencies, distorted vocals, and a barrage of abrasive textures. The second track (all album’s tracks are untitled) sets the stage for the tumultuous journey ahead plunges the listener into a maelstrom of sound, with waves of screeching feedback and distorted pulsations. Masonna’s mastery lies in his ability to create a sense of disorientation and unease, as if the listener is navigating through a swirling vortex of chaos. The following handful of tracks that round out the first side of the vinyl reissue are a relentless onslaught of noise, pushing the boundaries of sonic intensity with a really psychedelic touch.
The B-side delves even deeper into the realms of sonic extremity. Layers of distorted vocals, shrieking frequencies, and distorted electronic elements converge to create an atmosphere of sheer sonic psychedelic madness. The relentless assault on the senses is unrelenting, leaving the listener in a state of sonic disarray. As well as the usual use of ”harstronics”, synth, ring modulator and echo chambers are employed here. Vestal Spacy Ritual can be considered the transition album to Yamazaki’s cosmic phase, where the first analog ‘space’ machines are tried out, combining elements of noise, distortion, and harsh vocals into an overwhelming ‘space’ sonic experience. All the tracks showcases Masonna’s ability to manipulate sound, creating an immersive and chaotic soundscape that is simultaneously captivating and unnerving. The cacophony builds to a crescendo, immersing the listener in a tumultuous cosmic sonic ritual.
The original captivating, amazing and psychedelic artwork by Japanese designer and artist Masahiko Ohno is faithfully reproduced in LP format, in a limited edition of 199 copies, with a twelve-inch insert format plus psyco-postcard using the same original CD art, and beautifully follows the sound material of the vinyl grooves in a journey into the depths of chaotic and magnitude interstellar space.
With its unrelenting intensity and psychedelic aesthetic, Vestal Spacy Ritual stands as a testament to Masonna’s artistic vision and his commitment to pushing the boundaries of sonic expression.