tolerance

Not much is known about the Japanese female/male musical duo Tolerance made up of Junko Tange and Masami Yoshikawa. Understatement of understatements, even 36 years later the forward-thinking slab of music a few people know of as Divin has yielded little in terms of discovery on how the duo came to be, and (more importantly) why/how they created this piece of music. Creating music that touches on genres that had yet to exist (techno, electro, IDM, and glitch) and using musical/recording techniques rarely witnessed used that way, in that era, Divin provides a unique capsule into a group had its own musical compass.

divin

Forget the archetypal list that experimental/industrial musician Nurse with Wound placed them in. Forget the shoutout he gave them by titling his next album using a phrase found in their album dedication notes: “to the quiet men from a tiny girl”. As out there as their debut Anonym was, rightfully earning its place in an early crate-diggers hall of fame, Divin was a completely different beast. Released by the Japanese experimental music label/zine Vanity Records home of other unique post-punk experimental bands, Digin took all those Dada experiments, not-so-quiet ambient spaces, the noise rock expeditions, and proto-plunderphonics too, all from Anonym, into new realms, where you could actually grab a foothold in this normally difficult to “get” kind of music.

Something so simple as adding percussion –drum machines, specifically– allowed Tolerance to expand the colors in their palette, creating structures effectively guiding you along through some very interesting musical epiphanies. Ostensibly a keyboard and guitar duo, the presence of new, unique mixer filtering techniques, and not-so-obvious rhythm backing to apply just made everything much clearer to follow. Although still lo-fi, they used that fidelity as a tool to suss out something special from their grooves. To me they sound like DJs finding a fascinating loop, resampling it, and trying to tune its frequencies to better amplify that original thought. Way beyond their time. Sadly, after this album, it seemed the duo had nowhere else left to go, promptly disappearing from the musical world – much like the album itself.

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