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Videos (2)


Otomo YoshihideCathode

Label:Tzadik – TZ 7051
Series:Composer Series
CD, Album
Style:Experimental, Free Improvisation


1Modulation #2
Acoustic GuitarImahori Tsuneo*
Sampler [With Sine Wave Generator]Sachiko M
ShoIshikawa Ko*
Synthesizer [Silent]Kawasaki Uta*
2Cathode #1
CelloMochizuki Naoya*
Contrabass [Contra Bass]Kikuchi Masaaki*
Piano, Piano [Prepared With Electronics And Reverse Cymbals]Eto Naoko*
SamplerSachiko M
Shamisen [Futozao]Tanaka Yumiko*
Sho [Reverse With Electronics]Ishikawa Ko*
Tape [Manipulation]Kondo Yoshiaki*
ViolinKudo Miho*
VoiceYoshida Ami*
WhistlingYamashita Toru*
3Cathode #2
CelloMochizuki Naoya*
Composed By [Sampling Composition On Hard Disk Recorder]Otomo Yoshihide
ComputerOtani Yasuhiro*
Contrabass [Contra Bass]Kikuchi Masaaki*
Electronics [Mixing Board], EffectsNakamura Toshimaru*
Sampler [With Sine Wave], Electronics [Contact Microphone]Sachiko M
Synthesizer [Analog]Kawasaki Uta*
ViolinKudo Miho*
VoiceYoshida Ami*
4Modulation #1
Sampler [Sine Wave Generator]Sachiko M
ShoIshikawa Ko*

Companies, etc.



Tracks 1, 2, 4 recorded and mixed at Gok Sound, Tokyo, February and March 1999.
Track 3 recorded at Gok Sound and A-102 Studio, Tokyo, February and March 1999.
Mixed and edited at A-102 Studio, Tokyo, April 1999.
Tracks 1 and 4 use no overdubs, edits or electronic effects.
Mastered at Foothill Digital, NYC.

thanks to all musicians, Kondo Yoshiaki, Ito, Ikue Mori and John Zorn

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (On obi): 7 02397 70512 3
  • Matrix / Runout (Mirrored): E3998 TZ7051 MASTERED BY NIMBUS
  • Mastering SID Code (Written twice, mirrored): IFPI L130
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 240C

Other Versions (2)View All

Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Cathode (CD, Album)TzadikTZ 7051US1999
New Submission
Cathode (4×File, MP3, Album, Reissue, VBR)TzadiknoneUSUnknown


gottlieb7's avatar
Cathode is a collection of four compositions by Otomo Yoshihide. They draw from the avant-garde samplist's late-'90s minimalist approach exposed in projects such as I.S.O. and Filament, but are much richer. "Modulation #1" and "Modulation #2" play on modulating difference tones produced by sampled sine waves and shô, a traditional Japanese mouth organ. Both pieces are better experienced on good speakers, so that the listener can change position in order to modify the resulting modulation. Number one is as basic as it gets (and thus similar to Ryoji Ikeda's Matrix album), and people having physical difficulties with sine waves will not like it. Number two is less single-minded and irritating. It includes sparse acoustic guitar by Imahori Tsuneo in a style similar to Taku Sugimoto and more varied electronics from Sachiko M. The two "Cathode" pieces are more like electroacoustic works. For "Cathode #1," Yoshihide prepared a graphic score and recorded ten musicians performing it separately. He later assembled the piece using basic musique concrète techniques from the 1950s: speed variation, tape direction, splicing, and overdubbing. The resulting work reveals a very mature composer. For "Cathode #2," he sampled eight musicians without any preconceived plan, and created a very ambient collage through a technique inspired by Bob Ostertag's groundbreaking album Say No More. For all the avant-garde lovers who were wondering where the Japanese genius was heading lately, Cathode became the proof that the spiraling reduction of his music was not leading to a dead-end, but on the contrary to a rebirth of his writing abilities.