Illustration by Trevor Brown, a perverted Brit who had to move to
Japan because they were the only ones who weren’t freaked out
by his drawings of mutilated girls. He’s good though, eh?
Yasumi Okano and Takayuki Shouji are a couple of mysterious music nerds from Oita, Japan, who describe themselves as a “tender, strange, spiritual, violent band.” And as Xinlisupreme, they’ve built a psychosexual robot-whore composed of Merzbow’s torso, Suicide’s arms, My Bloody Valentine’s legs, and Venetian Snares’ cunt. “But we’re not even good players,” says Okano in English just about as disjointed as the band’s music. “Xinlisupreme is a bad accident for good boy.”
Last December, this faceless team of sample-smashers dropped an ultra-limited- edition 7” and their first full-length. But even with these two shock therapeutic albums to promote and a growing cult following that puts the Hare Krishnas to shame, Xinli still turned down shows left and right. The only people who actually ended up seeing the band perform were the “yakuza, illegal aliens, and poors in town who always fling knives at the stage.” Everyone else was stuck imagining some crazy dudes doing some crazy stuff with some crazy instruments.
And now, with their third release on Fat Cat (the same label that puts out all that pretty stuff by Múm and Sigur Rós), it doesn’t look like Xinlisupreme are even thinking about discarding their little shroud of secrecy. The new EP, Murder License, is crammed with feedback heart attacks and auto-asphyxiating DMX-beat bondage. Nearly every track is a throbbing and fuzzy menstrual-blood-soaked tinkering that masks equally raw and hypnotizing melodies and vocal screens. “We don’t make boring experimental art music,” Okano says. “We are just a desperate sound.” That is, they’re the sound of pleasure and pain at once eradicated and replaced by a heavy, bruising hailstorm of synthesizers, guitars, and drum samples.
In the end, Xinlisupreme is a lot like a really fucked-up nightmare. Experience it, but make sure you don’t ask questions when it’s over. This is the kind of thing you wish you could understand, but know that if you did you’d probably end up tying up a bunch of little kids with dirty knees at the playground and making them watch you slit your wrists.