Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Merzbow: Dark NOISE + New Interview Up!

Because I am rather brain-fried, tired, yet still want to get a new blog posted, here goes.  First of all, here's a link to Nerine Dorman's cool, This Is My World blog, in which yours truly has a fun interview.
http://nerinedorman.blogspot.com/2012/03/meet-john-claude-smith.html  Check it out when you get the opportunity.  Actually, go ahead and link up now, read it, and get back to me. And buy the book, oh, heck, here's the link for that, too:
You can also get back to me about that and...where was I? 

So, brain-tired, er, brain-fried, my brain wormed its way to the music reviews I have on file, many, many music reviews and I snagged five I had written for Merzbow, most of these in the late 1990's or possibly--I don't have the dates--the early 2000's.  Anyway, without further adieu and for your sonic impaling enjoyment, here's a few of the Merzbow reviews.  Even when trying to be serious, sometimes this kind of music demands the most, um...well...disgusting of humor to convey the, er...sometimes it...


Let's just say, it allows my brain to go to some raw, demented places--yeah, those of you with sensitive dispositions might want to leave now as there are a few images  here, within the descriptions of the music, you might not want branded on your gray matter--but ultimately quite fun.  I think...I think so, at least.  Then again, my take on fun might be a bit out there...



MERZBOW--Hybrid Noisebloom

This week’s Merzbow release is an inspired affair, infested with a wide array of gurgling machine regurgitations that really keep the proceedings lively.  From the squiggly, circuit frying static transmissions of “Mouse Of Superconcetion” and, especially, “Minotaurus,” to the pounding, flapping, electri-amplified chirping speakers of ‘Neuro Electric Butterfly,” Hybrid Noisebloom is one of my favorite excuses for self-lobotimization, or at least a reasonable excuse for sticking a rusty coat-hangar in the right nostril and attempting to scratch the back of one’s eyeballs while fellating (?!) the tailpipe of a Harley.  Yummy! 

Merzbow--Aqua Necromancer

Expect the unexpected.  Masami Akita, corrupt mastermind behind the bound and gagged and tossed into the jet engine noise of Merzbow has, over the last couple of years, really begun to stretch the limits of what he sonically does.  Seems, with current releases (Tauromachine, Hybrid Noisebloom, 1930...), there has been more variety within the choppy slabs of noise that he designs; of course, one not into the aural bliss of pure noise might argue that it all sounds like somebody has driven a Harley into a cement mixer, set it on grind, and stuck a helmeted head into the fray, recording and observing...Anyway, what we have here is, quite possibly, the most varied Merzbow release to date.  Why?  Because, amidst the stalk and squeal noise, Masami has seen fit to add lots of trippy, sometimes jazzy, inherently odd, sampled beats from bands like Soft Machine and L’Orme.  Tracks like “Soft Drums” and “Contrapuntti Patto” are as much a product of the added beats as they are the usual Merzbow onslaught; the beats seem to have given Masimi direction and, more so, revealed a side to his noisetrations that can only be deemed psychedelic!  Yes, for all the noisicians who feel they are tapping into 60’s psychedelia while still pummeling us with the same monstrous (though fun) regurgitations, Aqua Necromancer is a mind-altering example of noise that can actually be called groovy.  Far out! 


If you follow the noise scene, you kinda know what to expect from a Merzbow release.  That said, Masami Akita (Merzbow) has been mixing things up a bit lately, adding more varied textures to his white noise tsunami.  There’s a lot more disjointed focus (direction...and then chaos), a fairly prominent throb (as if Masami is getting to the heart of the sonic deluge), and a wider tonal base (it’s not just an excuse to strap in and let the white noise corrode the eardrums).  “Cannibalism Of Machine” is a syncopated jumble of clipped machinery squeals and volatile, overdriven psycho-dynamics, straining speakers as the machine is devoured; “Soft Water Rhinoceros” takes water and fuses it with some truly cataclysmic sounds; “Minotauros” is prime low-grind throb interspersed with the tones of machines in distress; “Heads Of Clouds” takes a high-pitched oscillation and drowns it in a thirsty, deranged sonic riptide.  The whole disc is concentrated and quite well conceived, the songs lashing out with cobra venom ferocity.  Out of the 1,097,203 or so Merzbow releases to date, Tauromachine rates near the top.  Of course, it is noise, and that said, some people may prefer a battery acid enema to the joys of Merzbow...it’s all a matter of masochistic preference; me, I’ll take some of the Colonel’s extra crispy Merzbow over a scorched and screaming anus any day (though if you could record that, you might have a feel for some of what is going on here....).  (Yikes!)   


This disc reminds me of a tidbit I once got from a misfortune cookie: Merzbow say, “When one is to be anally fist-fucked by a ninja, it is not necessary to use lubricant for the glue and glass doused fist, as the blood and shit will suffice.”  Sonic sodomization of the grisliest kind.  Ouch, on all counts. 

MERZBOW/GENESIS P-ORRIDGE--A Perfect Pain                      

A Perfect Pain gathers the godfather of the noise/experimental branch of industrial, Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV), with the godfather of japanoise, Masami Akita (Merzbow).  The result is...psychotic.  Seems Merzbow has recently grown tired of the simple, sonic-inspired blunt force lobotomy (check out Aqua Necromancer on Alien8 for a prime slab o’ psychedelic noise); and Genesis, well, he’s just as eclectic as ever.  The five tracks here are spread out over 56 minutes, juxtaposing Merzbow’s underlying, turbulent ambience that occasionally erupts into frequency piercing, between-the-dials, high-squeal noistrations (be it rhythmic oscillations; clicking gyrations; looped, sampled percussion; or steel wool, scrubbed raw static), with Genesis’ acid-drenched, demented preacher vocalizations--processed and echoey, alit with drug-hazed (or is that brutally honest, reality-glazed?!) glee; the imperfect, scraped-off-the-cranial-tiles worldview lyrics (improvisations!) are the coup de grace, a subversive delight, a view from the tower of the (in)sane.  The vocal approach gives the illusion that this is what it’s like in Genesis’ head, the stream of consciousness, fractured perspective (or is that BRUTAL HONESTY...?!); the Merzbow input, underneath while Genesis rants and rambles, is littered with corruptions of sound, awaiting the opportunity to sonically rage.  Subcutaneous psychedelia that seeps in all the way to the soft gray matter, corrosive and friggin’ outrageous.  One of my favorite releases from either of these artists.  On Cold Spring  out of England, a label worth your attention. 


You've never heard Merzbow?  Well, let's rectify that.  Here's one of the first tracks I ever heard by them, him, him being Masami Akita.  Enjoy!  Enjoy?  Yeah, Enjoy!  

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