“It’s minimal techno without the electronics, performed with jaw-dropping precision, and this is Goat.”– Japan Times
Whilst drummer Tetsushi Nishikawa pounds out a straight, brutal pulse on drums, Akihiko Ando- practically contorting into his saxophone- plays free, atonal drones that squeeze between the pounding bass drum. The remaining two musicians, Atsumi Tagami and Koshiro Hino, play bass and guitar respectively, radically deviating from the typical tropes of their instruments in a synergised harmonic picking.
This is Goat, Japanese avant-garde group and meticulous makers of dark sound.
Hailing from Osaka, Japan, Goat challenge the typical rock-band set up with their unique, intricate approach to minimalism, prioritising pure percussive sound over melodic content. After going through a reshape in early 2017 with a new lineup, they have moved on to build compositions that explore rhythmic aspect even further, centering on intertwining patterns of repetitive rhythms and bringing audiences into a trance like fatigue. Utilising harmonics outside standard tonality along with clever muting, Goat craft complex, driven, forceful compositions which are both urban and tribal at the same time- their percussion, for example, comprising of a bass drum, snare and hi-hat with a muted bass for every string to hit with a punch.
Their sound is miles apart from that of other rock bands. They apply their talents to a creative body that is truly unique, and at the heart of this body is 30-year-old Hino, an established staple in Osaka’s experimental music scene through his involvement with similarly avant-garde act Bonanzas, techno project YPY and as a touring member of internationally renowned noise act Boredoms. It is Hino’s approach that stresses the importance of rhythm over melodic and harmonic content. The overall effect of this approach conjures up a state that is stoic and unsympathetic, yet one which fundamentally strips away all but a grittier, honest sound.
Perhaps the foreboding darkness growing from their music is a reflection of the times. In conversation with Japan Times Hino shares his expressive view that he feels “a large amount of dissatisfaction and uncertainty facing Japan currently…I think we need more than basic improvements, we need to implement drastic reforms.”
“There’s no doubt that the rage and uncertainty I feel toward the current state of society influences my music,” he says. “I can’t put it concretely, but it’s possible that moving forward my style and methods will start to reflect these thoughts more clearly.”
Goat’s performance at Supersonic is sure to be an unmissable one. Get a taste for their meticulous style below. SUPERSONIC TICKETS HERE.