Masahiko Okubo‘s Linekraft was never one of those extra-prolific industrial / noise / power electronics acts that drop new material literally every few weeks and in 2021 he only released only one album: Asura (out on seminal industrial label Tesco Organisation). This one however is an outstanding, very carefully crafted concept album that, yet again, deals with interesting subject material. Like many other power electronics musicians, Okubo likes to dig up dark and obscure events from history, in his case mostly 20th century Asian history and this time he goes back to 1932 to events that, in many ways, foreshadowed Japan’s role in WW2. The album revolves around the first killing related to the so-called League of Blood Incident, when former finance minister Junnosuke Inoue was shot by Shō Onuma, a young man associated with an ultranationalist group.

After a short intro that includes contemporary radio recordings in Namu-Myouhourengekyou we are engulfed by monotonous, subdued noise built around a loop of Buddhist chanting (probably included here because Nisshō Inoue, the leader of the nationalist group was a self-proclaimed Buddhist priest), with almost hypnotic results. Easily one of the album spotlights it is followed by Asura an excellent traditional power electronics track with heavily distorted spoken word vocals buried under layers and layers of swirling noise and Struggle, which opens with another old radio recording and develops into the album’s most menacing piece with wailing, higher frequency noises, looped voice samples and repetitive low-key rumbling. Opening with the sound of sirens, Kill Political Parties… in a way sums up the whole release with more radio and Buddhist samples, but still, it isn’t as memorable as the previous tracks. Body Warhead on the other hand is another outstanding one, starting out unusually harsh (compared to the rest of the album), but the ending is quite haunting just as the last longer track, An Assassination…, which includes some creepy, echoing noises of unknown source, something that sounds like the chanting of a maniac, plus some percussion, all this set against a very slowly flowing, rumbling drone and followed by another short track, that serves as an outro and wraps up the release.

Asura is another exceptional, high quality release by Linekraft, that unearths some very interesting historical events and deals with them in a manner that perfectly suits the dark and bloody subject material. Another highly recommended album.

2021.08.30 / vinyl, digital
01 The Kill For All Living Things
02 Namu-Myouhourengekyou
03 Asura
04 Struggle
05 Kill Political Parties, Financial Cliques, And The Privileged
06 Body Warhead
07 An Assassination In The Organic Universe
08 One Kills One


A year in reviews: in 2021 I was somewhat neglecting the site due to the lack of free time, but now I try to make up for it as much as possible, reviewing several important / good / interesting albums that were released this year. One for each day throughout December, from a very wide spectrum of genres. #2021reviews