One of only a handful of Japanese experimental techno artists to gain exposure outside of Japan, Naohiro Fujikawa's fractured electronica under the name Bisk is also among the most interesting and innovative post-techno hybrids to appear in the last several years. A native of Hyogo, Fujikawa was barely into his 20s when his debut CD, Time, was released by Belgian label Sub Rosa in 1996. Sounding literally years ahead of its time, Time was a future-shock of sampler orchestration, the splintering remains of ambient, jazz, techno, hip-hop, electro, and experimental noise/musique concrete recombined into forms both fascinating and bewildering. Fujikawa's only other releases previous to Time were on small-run, largely Japan-only compilations (Trip Trap Records' Floating on the 1st Floor being the most notable); released under his own name, these tracks were far more derivative than his subsequent material as Bisk. Following Time, Fujikawa contributed a track to Bill Laswell's Oscillations Remix CD/LP before Sub Rosa issued a second full-length CD, Strange or Funny-Haha?, in 1997. Another essential collection of sample-based chaos unlike most other happenings in contemporary electronica, Strange set a standard of quality even higher than its predecessor, and further argued for Fujikawa's status as one of the most important and original new voices in experimental post-techno. The somewhat less impressive Ticklish Matters appeared on Sub Rosa in 1998, along with a remix for American hip-hop group East Flatbush Project (included on the Tried by 12 remix album, co-released by Ninja Tune and Chocolate Industries in December 1998). In addition to his CDs, a trio of exclusive Bisk tracks can be found on Sub Rosa's excellent 1998 compilation, Water and Architecture, alongside selections by Seefeel, former Tortoise bassist Bundy Brown and (most appropriately) Uwe "Atom Heart" Schmidt, one of the few artists to whom Fujikawa's work owes a clear debt. ~ Sean Cooper
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