>*edited (10-03-2005, 01:43 pm): thanks to Chris Goudreau (aka SICKNESS) for reminding me that there are alot more noise artists than just those on the west coast that knew Koji Tano. Don’t ask me why I only referenced the Japan and West Coast artists as I’ll only claim senility.
I had been out of the experimental/noise music scene for nearly a year (I needed the break) but was saddened to get this letter a few weeks back:
i’m terribly sorry to inform you this sad news though,
Koji Tano (MSBR) passed away on July 31, at age 44,
because of carcinoma of the colon and rectum.
the funeral ceremony took place at a temple in Tokyo today (August 2).
i’m really speechless with sudden shock and sorrow.
Kazuyuki Kishino (KK.NULL)
I didn’t know Koji Tano personally, but all of my friends in Japan and a number of the
west coast noise artists [*worldwide] did. As anyone into noise knows, he was the “frontman” for the noise group, MSBR, and owner of one of the outstanding experimental music record stores and the MSBR Records label. His was the first store/label to sell copies of my noise releases in Japan.
What many didn’t know is that Koji Tano was also an underground manga creator. A couple of his stories appeared in issues of Mason Jones’ magazine of Japanese independant bands and culture, Ongaku Otaku. I wouldn’t bother trying to order any of those directly from Mason right now as he’s in Japan touring, though you might check Aquarius Records to see if they have any in stock.
Some of Koji’s manga may also be found in the Wormhole mangazine published by Time Stereo (run by Detroit based noise/performance art troupe, and frequent collaborator with MSBR, Princess Dragon Mom). The art from the mangazine also made a tour of some Michigan based art-galleries.
If I can find my copies I might scan some of his work and do a sort of retrospective review of Koji’s manga.
I found a short and uninformative review of the “The Fool Who Fell to Hell” from the second Ongaku Otaku issues:
The best thing in this issue, though, is the stunning manga story by Koji Tano of MSBR. “The Fool Who Fell to Hell” starts out as a reasonably typical paranoid-fantasy story (a sweaty homeless guy watches kids playing in the park and flashes back to hellish school days) before the bottom falls out (literally — he falls in a hole down to hell) and the whole thing becomes surreal, grotesque, and not a little bit scary. The pix of the minotaur demon squashing damned souls with a huge cement block and then stuffing them all in his mouth is completely amazing. Hopefully there will be more to come in this vein from Tano, for this is unspeakably cool….
If any of you are interested in hearing some of his noise, then please go to this link where I’ve been posting selective links related to Koji and his work.