Whatever happened to these japanese distortoworshippers? They fell off the face of the earth after their two wonderful, crushing releases (as far as I know).
"Xinlisupreme are a duo from Japan, but they play some of the wildest surf-guitar instrumentals this side of 1960s USA. "Kyoro" kicks off with an incredibly raw drumbeat, pummeling you like countrymen High Rise at their worst. The guitar builds up sizzling feedback, then unleashes a firestorm as a blood-curdling scream tears from your speakers. It almost sounds like heavy metal, but the theatrics that follow pull the ripcord, decelerating into fun, anthemic riffage. The group manages to make low fidelity an almost religious virtue later on "Under a Clown", with electric surges careening around the rattling drums and the sudden appearance of an abused piano being pounded.
Hailing from Oita, Japan, Xinlisupreme's dreamy synth-pop comes as quite a surprise. Yasumi Okano and Takayuki Shouji conjure up dust from dance clubs of the 80s, evoking dirty, fog-cloaked backrooms. "All You Need is Love Was Not True" thumps through eight minutes of flat drum machine beats, the dull thud masking the half-mumbled attempts to sing that float through the mix. The patterns reassure, never boring, just guiding the body out onto the floor. Not so with the wavering synth-static of "Amaryllis", but the repetitive motif creates a ritualized aura, enhanced by the duo's strange chanting. The drama continues on "Fatal Sisters Opened Umbrella", which drives from a gothic groove straight into the heart of the cathedral itself, with insane blasts like pipe organs soaring upwards.
Think you've heard it all? Xinlisupreme make you hear it all at once. This mad twosome from the Far East cuts some of the nastiest noise-rock since the Birthday Party. "You Died in the Sea" begins with Einstürzende beat-boxing, like anvils clanging on cold metal. Without warning, the guitars snarl, shredding the song open in a vortex of distortion and drones. The group isn't all hard edges, though; "Suzu", in particular, with its hazy mesh of soundwaves, will have you thumbing through your shoegazer glossary for acronyms like 'FSA' and 'MBV'. Likewise, "I Drew a Picture of Myself" paints perfect balance between shimmering airiness and barbed aggression, and features some of the grungiest basslines since Gish.
Forget titles like 'power electronics' or 'sonic terrorism'-- Xinlisupreme rain down slabs of pure noise from on high. Keep countrymen Merzbow and Masonna in mind, but also think of Unit Records beatmongers Gridlock and Dryft. "Goodbye for All" matches the snowy grainscapes of the former with the latter's electronic percussion, resulting in a cyclone of pulsing stabs and shrieking pitchshifts. Like most masters of the extreme, the duo show mercy, thankfully, and the piece relents with an ambient midsection that calms before the storm ensues again. Though the sketch only lasts two minutes, "Symmetry" remains particularly unsettling as it builds into a thicket of piercing nettles, reminding more of the phantasmagoric clouds conjured by Ah Cama-Sotz.
It should be obvious by now, but I'll say it outright: Xinlisupreme are all these things. It's become a cliché these days to describe a band from Japan as 'wild' or 'crazy', but the evidence is right up in your face, kicking your teeth in. Don't think about genre-hopping trend-setters-- Okano and Shouji blend these styles together with demented glee. What you get is an hour's worth of helter-skelter sonic invention, lacking any coherent center. This mania is their virtue, making for one of the year's most unpredictable albums, and a damn fine debut. It's also their weakness. Am I being too critical? Imagine the Boredoms ten years back, and where they've come since. Xinlisupreme are only beginning to rock." - Christopher DareIkebana