Takafumi Matsubara - Strange, Beautiful And Fast review

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Band: Takafumi Matsubara
Album: Strange, Beautiful And Fast
Release date: September 2019

01. Stuttered Rope
02. Ice Pick
03. मेटिन लागेको अक्षर
04. Dignity 尊厳
05. Halo Of Lies
06. Void Walker
07. Path To Isolation
08. 無極
09. Pull Out My Eyes
10. Controlled Matrix Of Thought
11. Disparity
12. Fate Of Fear
13. S.A.M
14. Filius Lapis
15. Crawlspace
16. Abstract Maelstroms
17. Selfish Vow

Rarely do you find an album whose title perfectly describes it. Rarely is that album a grindcore one with performances from members of Gridlink, Full Of Hell, Phobia, Maruta, Kill The Client, Brutal Truth, Wormrot, Khanate and Organ Dealer among others.

Well at this point I pretty much told you everything you need to know about the album. You know it's grindcore, you know it's "strange, beautiful and fast" (mostly the latter), and you know it's got one hell of a lineup. It's actually the first solo album of Takafumi Matsubara, who you may know as the guitarist of Gridlink, and who is making a return to music after some health problems left him unable to play for a while, some really nasty shit. So overcoming that, after four years in the making, Strange, Beautiful And Fast feels not only as a personal celebration, a tribute to drummer Hee Chung, but a celebration of grindcore as a whole.

The only link between all of these songs is that Takafumi Matsubara plays guitar in all of those and that they're all grindcore. Other than that, the personnel performing the rest of the instruments and vocals revolve with each song, making the entire thing feel more like a really well put together compilation than an album. If you take a look at the tracklist and lineup, you see songs with titles written in Nepali and Japanese, the latter of which not that surprising given that Takafumi is Japanese, and so was Hee Chung, who died of cancer in 2015, and to whom the album is a tribute to. And the lineup itself has members some pretty big grindcore bands, as presented in the attention grabber, but also a lot from bands not on MS, so skimming through the lineup on MS might not do it that much justice.

The nature of Strange, Beautiful And Fast is quite intentionally disjointed. Seventeen tracks that vary in intensity, language, pace, length, approach and personnel, but all unified by a shared love of grindcore. The one most unlike the rest is the almost avant-garde free jazz grind piece "Pull Out My Eyes", the lengthiest piece on the record, which features Alan Dublin [ex-Khanate] on vocals, and which acts as a sort of dividing piece of the record, with the rest of it going either in a direction either more crusty, or hardcore, or sludgy, even hip-hop. And the constant change of sound makes it almost impossible to stay bored in its 33 minutes runtime, whether you like some tracks and sounds more than others or not.

So 30 years after Horrified and World Downfall, grindcore has run its course and gave us plenty of classic albums, different sounds and scenes, plenty of musicians around the world, and no album celebrates its pure unadulterated passion quite like Strange, Beautiful And Fast.


Written on 03.12.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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