originally released in 1985 by the fmp label, off the wall is another stunning entry into yoshi wada's catalogue of drone music masterpieces. the em label reissues the original lp for the first time on cd, throwing in the twenty-seven minute bonus track 'die konsonanten pfeifen'.

those who've already encountered wada's work will most liely feel at home with his instrumental configuration, which involves an adapted organ, percussion and most prominently, the duelling bagpipes of wada with wayne hankin. it would be doing wada a great disservice to group this in with drone music in any strict sense: by sheer merit of its high rate of change and hyperactive musical core, off the wall transgresses a great many of the clichés associated with avant-garde minimalism, yet the erratic, flurried interplay between the two sets of bagpipes results in the sound of one tangled thread of harmonics and overtones clashing against another, resulting in something like a giant, monumental chord that keeps stumbling in and out of tune, all the while andreas schmidt-neri's percussion instilling a sense of ceremonial drama.

the bonus track (an earlier piece originally released on cassette) 'die konsonanten pfeifen' is slightly less powerful, largely because the recording fidelity is less accommodating to the vastness of wada's sound works, but nevertheless, from a musical perspective the key elements that shaped off the wall itself are tested out here, and they sound equally crammed with fanfarish grandeur.

text source : boomkat
from the album: off the wallem – 2008