released 28 September 2010
In Metal/Crystal, French experimental guitarist and electronic musician Richard Pinhas summons the assistance of noise artists Merzbow (Masami Akita) from Japan and Wolf Eyes from USA to weave a spellbinding aural web. Over the years, many artists in the 'noise arena' have expressed interest in his pioneering use of synthesizers and electronics in rock and contemporary music. Pinhas has likewise been intrigued by various areas of the ‘noise’ scene and Metal/Crystal, recorded "during these two worst years of my life" reflects these influences strongly. Metal/Crystal also intertwines some of the most radical electro-acoustic sonic innovations to emerge from three different continents: Europe, Asia and North America. Pinhas has been ceaselessly innovative in a career spanning more than 30 years, and recently has been exploring areas of the international ‘noise’ scene. His newest release shows him working with two of that scene’s highest profile artists; Merzbow and Wolf Eyes are considered to be the premier ‘noise artists’ of their respective countries. Metal/Crystal is Pinhas’ second collaboration with Merzbow, the originator of Japanese noise music. It is Pinhas’ first release with Michigan's Wolf Eyes, whom he’s worked with since 2007. In addition to Merzbow and Wolf Eyes, Metal/Crystal features several of Pinhas’ longtime collaborators: Antoine Paganotti (drums), Didier Batard (bass), Patrick Gauthier (mini-Moog) (all ex members of Heldon and/or Magma); Jerome Schmidt (electronics), whom Pinhas has recorded and toured extensively with for 2 decades; and his son Duncan Pinhas (electronics), who also helped mix the album with Laurent Peyron and Francis Gernet. The album’s artwork, by Yann Legendre and Joy Burke, features intricate, back-and-white cartoon-like drawings, with images hidden inside larger forms. The 6 lengthy tracks on Metal/Crystal features some of Pinhas’ most melodic guitar riffs in recent years, as well as his ‘noisiest’ sonic abstractions ever.