> MASONNA (Yamazaki Maso) – God of Noise

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Yamazaki “Maso” Takushi (山崎 “マゾ” 卓志?) is the birthname of Japanese noise musician and performer known most widely for his solo project Masonna.

Born in Kyōto, 1966. He operates the Coquette Records label and is also a member of the group Christine 23 Onna (now titled Acid Eater, with Toda Fusao from Angel’in Heavy Syrup), Maso is also the manager of Jojo Hiroshige’s Alchemy Records store. He has an analog synthesizer project called Space Machine, with other projects which include Triple Yama’s, Kinkakuji, Gokurakuji, South Saturn Delta & Andromelos.

He was a member of the noise group Flying Testicle with Merzbow, as well as the Japanoise supergroup Bustmonster which included Akita Masami from Merzbow on drums.

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Maso has said that he became interested in making noise music when he heard the sounds of destruction on television as a child, but that his first exposure to the Japanese noise genre was Hanatarash’s debut LP, which at the time did not impress Maso. It was however later, upon happening on an LP entitled LSD by a Tokyo noise band named Nord, and mistakenly thinking it was an album by the band LSD, that these experiences had possibly kindled his future interest. A year thereafter Maso sought many different types of noise releases in the underground music stores in and around Osaka Japan. Two years would pass until Maso would start to develop his own style of noise and begin producing, at which time he quit listening to the noise albums of others and focused in on his own unique style. Previous to his interest in noise Maso played guitar in several bands, one of which he states in interviews was a Led Zeppelin cover band, playing the occasional Deep Purple song.

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All of Maso’s projects draw heavily from the psychedelic music scene in outward style, but sonically most of them resemble very few of the traits of late 1960s and 1970s psychedelic music. Maso has an interest in avant-garde films, having stated in interviews that his two favorite movies are the Alexandro Jodorowsky films The Holy Mountainand El Topo. He also claims to admire and wish to work with American musician Captain Beefheart.

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Masonna (マゾンナ), started in 1987 in Osaka, Japan, is the noise music project of Yamazaki Maso. Sometimes rendered as an acronym M.A.S.O.N.N.A., standing for either Mademoiselle Anne Sanglante Ou Notre Nymphomanie Auréolé (French for “Miss Bloody Anne, Or Our Aureoled Nymphomania”; the proper spelling is Auréolée. In kana: 血まみれのアンヌ嬢・若しくは・我等がニンフォマニアが・後光に包まれる) or more rarely Mystic Another Selection Of Nurses Naked Anthology. Maso has said before that the name is a pun on pop singer Madonna, though the name is also a composite of Maso (Japanese for “Masochist”) and Onna (Japanese for “Woman”) alluding again to the fetishistic “bloody Anne” reference in the French acronym. Along with Merzbow, Masonna is one of the best-known Japanese noise projects.

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The Masonna project has been the opening act for several well-known artists on their Japanese concert dates, including Sonic Youth, Beck and Slipknot. Masonna also caught the attention of John Peel and was featured on his program, having even done a limited Masonna ‘John Peel Sessions’ CD.

Yamazaki Maso currently works at Alchemy Records in Osaka.

Masonna is most known for Yamazaki’s wild live performances which usually consist of damaging his equipment, jumping around madly, and at times getting injured. He has given entire concerts which last only a few seconds. In 1996 Masonna toured the United States on the “American Mystique Tour” named after his only album to be released on two formats, Inner Mind Mystique.

More Info At: http://masonna.main.jp/

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