Masaya Nakahara aka Violent Onsen Geisha
In 1987, Nakahara Masaya founded the project Violent Onsen Geisha, which quickly became one of the most well-known and influential names in the Japanese noise music scene, distinctive among others for frequently displaying a bizarre, sarcastic, and mischievous sense of humor. The band’s name, which translates to “violent hot springs geisha,” is a reference to the traditional Japanese practice of hot spring bathing, as well as a nod to Nakahara’s confrontational and irreverent approach to music. As Violent Onsen Geisha, he creates experimental music that blends elements of noise, industrial, and avant-garde styles. He is known for his use of unconventional instruments and sounds, including feedback loops, field recordings, appropriated or “found” music, in addition to (or even instead of) straight-ahead noise.
As well as his work as a musician, Nakahara is also a prolific visual artist and writer. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, and he has published several books on the subjects of art and music. He is known for his irreverent and humorous approach to art, which often subverts traditional Japanese imagery and cultural norms. Despite his underground status, Nakahara has been a highly influential figure in the Japanese art and music scenes for over three decades. His work has inspired countless musicians and artists both in Japan and around the world.
Violent Onsen Geisha’s discography is extensive, spanning over 40 albums and EPs, and he has collaborated with other experimental musicians, including Merzbow and Masonna. From his early work in the end of 1980s, such as “Shock!Shock!Shock!” and “Cry Baby Killer”, showcased his ability to create jarring and unsettling soundscapes. Contempt the experimental nature of his music, Violent Onsen Geisha has amassed a dedicated following both in Japan and internationally, and has performed at various festivals and events around the world. Overall, Violent Onsen Geisha’s contributions to the world of experimental music and art have been significant, and he remains an important figure in Japan’s thriving underground music scene.