Yamataka Eye (山塚アイ, Yamataka Ai) (born Tetsurō Yamatsuka (山塚徹郎, Yamatsuka Tetsurō), 13 February 1964) is a Japanese vocalist and visual artist, best known as a member of Boredoms. He has changed his stage name three times, from Yamatsuka Eye, to Yamantaka Eye, to Yamataka Eye, and sometimes calls himself eYe or EYヨ. He also DJs under the name DJ 光光光 or "DJ pica pica pica" ("pica" means "bright" or "shiny"), and has used numerous other pseudonyms.
Born in Kobe, Eye is a founder of the influential rock music band, Boredoms, whose first major label release came out in the early '90s. They were signed to Warner Bros. (Chocolate Synthesizer era) by David Katznelson, then A&R VP of Warner Bros. The closest thing Boredoms have to a frontman, Eye offers a variety of vocal techniques: gurgles, screams, grunts and occasionally, relatively conventional singing. In the later days of Boredoms and in today's V∞redoms he plays electronics and open reel tapes.
Yamantaka Eye is also a member of the bands Hanatarash, UFO or Die, Puzzle Punks, Noise Ramones and Destroy 2. He is notorious for his vast, confusing discography and countless guest appearances. In 1993, he recorded an EP with Sonic Youth called TV Shit for Thurston Moore's label, Ecstatic Peace. He also collaborated with Yamamoto Seiichi & Yamazaki Maso in the project "(Triple) Yama's" which was titled for their shared namesake. He released two albums, Live! and Live!!, with Japanese turntablist/improviser Otomo Yoshihide, under the moniker "MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse". He formed a music and art group called Puzzle Punks, with Shinro Ohtake.
Other notable collaborations include his work with Bill Laswell's Praxis and with John Zorn's groups Naked City and Painkiller. Eye and Zorn also recorded the album Zohar as the "Mystic Fugu Orchestra." This latter compilation, which both commemorates and satirizes Jewish culture, also draws strength from Eye's earlier influence from the Oomoto religion in Japan, a sect claiming to possess visions of an emerging world order. Several generations of Eye's family belonged to Oomoto, which was at times brutally suppressed by the Japanese government. Yamantaka participated in the Boredoms 77 Boadrum performance which occurred on July 7, 2007 at 7:07 PM at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, New York, and the 88 Boadrum performance which occurred on August 8, 2008 at 8:08 PM at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California.
As well as his music, Eye is famous for his Dada influenced mixed-media style of art that utilises airbrush, marker pen and collage, amongst other materials. This work has adorned a number of records, including the majority of Boredoms releases and, perhaps more famously, Beck's Midnite Vultures. Similar to the Boredoms' musical direction, Eye started incorporating a much more psychedelic, calmer approach into his work, evident on the covers of many of the later Boredoms albums. Drawing as much from Japanese mythology as it does from his musical influence, such as early punk imagery, his work aims to complement the music as well as to provide another dimension to the sound.
When discussing Eye's unique art style, Stylus Magazine writer Mike Powell commented:
It's worth talking about Eye's art not simply because, like Paul McCartney, he makes it, but because it's an extension of the same creative brain that propels the Boredoms.
See also: Stylus Magazine feature about his art
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