Thrilling document of seriously wired Japanese improv collective, raising electric ghosts and phantom sonorities live in New York. Exias-J (short for Experimental Improvisers Association of Japan) have been around since 2000, and this is their second release on PSF. The group express a dedication to bringing the sounds of classic Euro free improv into collision with free jazz, minimalism, electronic music, scalp-raising rock improv and a dozen other musical discourses. Balance of Chaos captures the collective, in a number of shifting trio and quintet permutations, live on their first tour of the US in the autumn of 2003. The stated aims of the collectives electric conception is to disrupt traditional instrumental hierarchies through the application of electro-acoustics. However, that pat explanation gives little sense of the kinetic physicality, knife-edge tensions, and complex structural density embodied in these thrilling performances (though the whooping and hollering audiences were clearly feeling it). If you have any bottomless holes in your musical history that need filling, these boys and their diachronic spades will more than do the job. -- Alan Cummings.