C.C.C.C. - Biography
Can we just acknowledge that the Japanese have, shall we say, a peculiar worldview? At least when applied to the arts in general, and the rigors of the avant garde in particular. When the oddly appellated sub- sub-genre of “noise music” (which is it, noise or music — pick one or the other, please) first started to leak and ooze out of Nippon in the early 1990s, Cosmic Coincidence Control Center held an equal footing with subsequent “giants” such as Masami Akita’s Merzbow. But while Merzbow fastidiously maintained an aura of cool detachment and aesthetic distance, CCCC plunged into the sort of wild, messy, psychotherapeutic convulsions that still manage to shock and awe (and occasionally repulse). But for all of their errant emotive flailing, CCCC founders Hiroshi Hasegawa and Mayuko Hino were shrewd aural statisticians, who wove rich tapestries of sound that covered not just white noise but keen ambient gurgling and the sort of post-traumatic psychedelia that vivifies entire genres. Yes, Cosmic Coincidence Control Center had their share of dime-store, shock-value moments, slinging urine into/onto their audiences and indulging a graphic, onstage reliance on Mayuko Hino’s notorious background as an actress in sadomasochistic pornography. But CCCC also provided a crucial service by expanding the vocabulary and vision of “noise,” dragging it from the narrow environs of acts like Whitehouse to broad, open vistas in which just about anything within the imagination was possible — if not entirely permissible.
The full-length CD debut was the eponymous Cosmic Coincidence Control Center (1992 Endorphine Factory), and while “Morphogenesis” and “Reticular Formation” are vivid slices of soundscaping, it’s the sprawling, album-length “Sonic Machine” that really indicates the extent to which Hasegawa and Hino are willing to go in their quest to warp, bend, twist and contort sound. In a genre as extreme as theirs, they were still at the forefront of innovation. They continued with a pair of titles that sparkled in brittle aural shards, Amplified Crystal I (1993 Endorphine Factory) and Amplified Crystal II (1993 Endorphine Factory), before unleashing the epic Loud Sounds Dopa, Live In USA (1993 Endorphine Factory). CCCC found a suitable home on noisenik Ron Lassard’s label with the LP Community Center Cyber Crash, Live In Pittsburgh (1994 RRRecords), then had a wildly productive decade. The 1990s saw the release of an array of brilliantly executed titles, starting with the cassette Gnosis (1994 Drahtfunk Products) and the seven-inch singles “Test Tube Fantasy” (1994 Ant Zen) and “Live At AS 220” (1995 Membrum Debile Propaganda). A dizzying flurry of CDs followed, including Flash (1996 Cold Spring), Love & Noise (1996 Endorphine Factory), The Beauty of Pollution (1996 Endorphine Factory), Rocket Shrine (1997 Creativeman), and Untitled (1997 Freak Animal Records).
After that spate of frenetic activity, the pace of CCCC’s creativity slowed a bit. There were several limited-edition CDRs, including a fascinating and bruising concert recording from Taipei, Old Street In Taiwan (2002 Tochnit Aleph) and the prosaically titled September 9th 1995 (2005 Tochnit Aleph); the group also issued the outstanding Chaos Is the Cosmos (2007 Cold Spring) before disbanding at the end of the decade. Committed devotees will want to put forth the effort to track down the truly stellar 4xCD boxed set, Early Works (2007 No Fun Productions). It captures the complete range of Cosmic Coincidence Control Center’s wily, outlandish strengths, spraying bursts of searing noise, audio hiccups, post-psych stupor, and surprisingly well-considered ambient pastels. CCCC stayed together long enough to witness noise music evolve from a highly isolated endeavor to a full-blown genre, and they deserve much of the credit for its development, maturation, and remarkable successful dispersal into the unsuspecting ears of the world.