This brief release, by the German noise musician Sascha Mandler (who also creates music under the names Izanami's Labour Pains, Palatial, and Mazakon Tactics), put out in an edition of 62 copies by the Small Doses label, can sound like a force of nature. Recorded "live in one autumnal night in 2009," there is a real tension, immediacy and energy in its sound, as though you are listening to an enormous storm or earthquake taking place. This impression perhaps comes from the interest in Japanese culture and mythology that permeates Mandler's work; the project name and record title here seems to refer to the myth of a giant catfish living under Japan, Namazu, held down by a giant rock beneath the earth, or under the soil, the movement of which was believed to cause earthquakes, and I wonder if Mandler is linking the concept of Namazu to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.
One of the most interesting aspects of this recording comes through the variations in the live recording; sounds often seem to come out of nowhere, as though you are catching glimpses of something through a sand storm. Even what seems like an overall underlying static quality is actually, on a closer listen, a rapid variation of sound conveying speed and movement. This recording is very much worth checking out--the excellent packaging and presentation from Small Doses is an additional bonus. 9/10 -- Jordan Anderson (3 March, 2010)