| TETSUO FURUDATE & ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI : World As Will II
23five003, Compact Disc
published in 2002
$12.98, plus shipping
The World As Will collaborations between composers Tetsuo Furudate and Zbigniew Karkowski reflect their mutual adherence to the principles of the 19th Century thinker Arthur Schopenhauer, who had demonstrated a necessarily pessimistic philosophy within the comprehensive four volume set entitled Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (World As Will). It is the opinion of Furudate and Karkowski that "Will keeps creating the World and History, Will creates human Tragedies, causes Chaos and is the primary source of Creation." Schopenhauer purported that scientific explanation can never do more than systematize and classify that which appears to be reality, and instead offered the theory that reality could be understood through the objectification of the individual will, as the capacity for consciousness to bring reality into being. It is a mistake, however, to assume that Schopenhauer implied that will equates only as force. Nevertheless, if each individual shapes their desires and understandings through the force of will, then social relationships are based upon a network of self-defining acts; thus, human suffering is not symptomatic but inherent to society as a whole. For Schopenhauer, morality is the denial of the force of will, and should be eschewed in favor of the will as the primal creative force even at the inevitable price of existential pessimism.
Almost 200 years later, Furudate and Karkowski have forged a collaborative sound that builds upon these principles, highlighting that their synchronized wills can unleash an infernal majesty through the cruel manifestation of electronic sound. Drawing also from the acknowledgement of Schopenhauser’s influence upon Richard Wagner’s vigorous operas, Furudate and Karkowski have centered World As Will 2 almost exclusively upon samples of Karkowski’s little heard orchestral work and Wagner’s masterful Götterdammerung. Augmented through the crucible of digital processing, these electronic samples of vivid polyphony found in the masculine crescendos of orchestral sound take a violent turn towards the realms of militant noise. World As Will 2 results in an unrelenting soundtrack of expressive power and will, shaped within arenas of sound.
Tetsuo Furudate is a Japanese based composer who has dedicated himself to the dynamics of noise. Zbigniew Karkowski is a Polish-Swedish composer presently working in Tokyo, Japan, having worked extensively within the experimental noise scene during the past 11 years. Along with Furudate, Karkowski has collaborated with Francisco Lopez, Merzbow, Pita, Helmut Schaefer, Aube, John Duncan, The Hafler Trio, CM von Hausswolff, Ulf Bilting, and many others. He has performed at countless venues and festivals across the globe, including several appearances at 23five's annual Activating The Medium festival.
Will "creates human Tragedies, causes Chaos, and is the primary source of Creation" profess the liner notes to World As Will II, referencing the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, who believed that everything was intrinsically "will," and inherently negative, naturally causing conflict and suffering. The only escapes are in denying one's will or in experiencing art. Furudate and Karkowski have created truly cathartic music, as heavy as the accompanying philosophy, which is at times oppresive but always tragically magnificent. The album opens with some beautiful, dark orchestrations before suddenly cutting into some harsh glitches and ominous looped electronics. The sounds grow ragged with distortion before erupting in an assault of noise and digitally processed metallic clamor. Furudate and Karkowski build a chaotic collage of dissonant horns, violent vocals, and punishing electronic tones that makes for an uneasy but rich listen. "Part 2" begins with some looped Wagner samples that recalls the tape pieces of early minimalism; on their own these symphonic phrases would be too bombastic, but in this context they take on a morbidly majestic quality.
Wagner himself was heavily influenced by the writings of Schopenhauer, so it's appropriate that the duo chose to integrate his art into their own. The samples soon yield to layers of bright, shrapnel-like noise that might be the sound of a pitch-shifted orchestra. Later on, the harsh vocals return and the tones grow steadily sharper. The booming knell of a drum dramatically carries the piece out over a clatter of crashing sounds. I'm left wondering why these two artists are so interested in Schopenhauer; perhaps noise music is the ultimate statement of the human condition and our inevitable suffering. Schopenhauer believed that music is distinct from all other art in that it is a pure manifestation of will; it is a universal language that reaches us on our innermost level, transcending culture and even the world itself. Regardless of any of this oftentimes pessimistic intellectualism, World As Will II is a creative and extremely powerful recording. - Steve Smith
With the resolve of a sullen teen shaking the last life out of a captured rat, Tetsuo Furudate and Zbigniew Karkowski's World As Will II (23five Incorporated) bellows zealously about the glories of strnagth and the joy of masculinity. Every bombast token -- martial drums, ominous orchestral drones, primal screams with echo, Wagner samples -- is dumped into a boiling fray with the technique of seasoned pros, and the aesthetic sense of pubescent goths.
Karkowski studied under Xenakis and considers the time the only worthwhile education he received. While that influence is obvious in World As Will II's orchestral clusters and general density, it is dwarfed by elements solely serving that notoriously untrustworthy god, the human ego. One of the most important reasons for the successof Xenakis' music is its lack of individual ego and will. Its opaque masses of sound grow from the interaction of mindless, external forces, outside the realm of emotions and personality. Furudate and Karkowski, though, dwell in the self-important realm of the glorification of the self. Whatever one may think of Schopenhauer's writings, from which this album takes its philosophical cues, it's hard to deny that this is one belligerent, humorless hunk of pomposity. -- Alesandro Moreschi III
Robert Stanton's Favorite Recordings Of 2002
One wouldn't imagine a musical translation of Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy to be particularly successful, but Furudate and Karkowski have created a strong body of work based upon Schopenhauer's conception of "will," something that is inherently negative and naturally causes conflict and suffering. The music builds a dense tapestry of dissonant horns, warped vocals, and electronic sounds, yielding an uneasy but rich listen. -- Robert Stanton
Not just a name of thie one CD, World As Will is the title of an ongoing collaboration between the Japanese experimental / industrial Iron Man and the well-known sonic iconoclast who resides in Japan and is known for his work with Sensorband. With the disc based on the Nietzschean concept of human will exerting its inexorable force on history, what we hear are powerful, massive collages of foreboding darkness, incorporating blistering shards of noise, samples (from Karkowski's chamber music and percussion pieces -- he's quite the Renaissance man), and even predictable excerpts from Wagner. Furudate overlays metallic clatter and factory machine clangor until the result is a fist-raising testament to the will of the individual Ubermensch, complete with strident, martial dirge beats.
This CD will satisfy anyone longing for the roots of industrial going back to Test Dept. or Laibach, or even the more recent Dissecting Table and MZ.412. The trumpet blasts at the beginning of the second track are close to the effects that Autopsia and Le Syndicat were fond of in the early '90s. In fact I'm surprised this isn't released on Tesco or Staalplaat. Yet the 23five label run by Scot Jenerik (himself responsible for quite a bit of industrial percussion) puts together stark packaging reminiscent of Non or Neubauten. When measured against the fecal trance-techno dance crap that today's misguided mall waifs label "industrial," the effort to bring back that classic, intense sound is indeed a triumph of the will. -- Manny Theiner
23five as well offered us another unique release, the sequel to Tetsuo Furudate & Zbigniew Karkowski's World As Will II. The 1st memorable example of which we experienced a few years ago from Staalplaat. Taking up the project's name from Schopenhauer's Die Welt Als Wille und Vorstellung and as they suggest "in their opinion it is will which keeps creating the world and history, will creates human tragedies, causes chaos and is the primary source for creation"…ok ok
I guess that some of you might say that is not the first time that a project uses such an interesting theoretical influence but the result is not the one expected. In the Furudate / Karkowski case though things are far more different. For those unfamiliar with their work (at least concerning Furudate consider me as unfamiliar too, as I've heard only but a couple of his releases), Tetsuo Furudate is a talented sound artist who manipulates sort of classically composed pieces to pure frenzied soundscapes, which despite such other efforts have a unique energy & power. As of zbigniew, our beloved nomad (allow me to use this expression of his taken from his feature in Erratum zine/cd) an artist who likes a lot when playing live to play as loud as possible his soundscapes allow me to say that the what I find attracting in his work is his ability to create soundscapes which upon listening give you a sort of primitive electronics feeling or of a totally elementary thing the potential of which though is utterly devastating. Coming to World As Will II now, since their first cd which showed a unique talent in manipulating/playing sounds, or better say conducting, the second volume comes to work as a punch in the stomach, completely in my humble opinion showing this "will for creation," by offering us 2 flabbergasting powerful soundscapes, which evolve in such a way that will leave you astonished from their energy. frankly is of the times where you truly understand the reason why the musics we listen to are titled as experimental, obscure or whatever, especially when the sounds manage to evoke questions inside you & a will to answer them… if you liked the 1st one then check out this one too, if you're unfamiliar with the first one on Staalplaat, then both are absolute tips!