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1930

Merzbow

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Album Review

There's a wider variety of unexpected sounds than those normally heard in a Merzbow listening session in this sonic inundation. Unguessed-at dimensions are accessed through 1930 via sensory overload of oscillations, infinitely layered static, frequencies from pitch to buzz — an explosion could get lost in this, and many do. It is the sounds of tuning in the radio, only to catch the low-end frequencies of an earthquake. Music has long explored — and exploited — its ties to emotions; the genre of noise, it seems, has moved on to exploring sound's physical effects. Merzbow, the leader of Japanese noise, has learned how to use sound to operate on your brain; he utilizes indiscernible frequencies to poke pinholes in your eardrums and bleed out your preconceived notions of sound, music, and how they can affect you. This listening experience is not simply a result of sheer volume (Merzbow is generally listened to very loudly): Even while turned down low, the sounds all combine into an irresistible force that messes with your physical being. It will scramble your brain, until consciousness barely registers anything but sound. [Note: This is, however, a somewhat temporary effect.]

Biography

Born: 1956 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

There is no need to argue: Merzbow stands as the most important artist in noise music. The favorite moniker of Japanese Masami Akita appears on hundreds of albums. The name comes from German artist Kurt Schwitters' famous work Merzbau, which he also called The Cathedral of Erotic Misery. Akita's choice reflects his fondness for junk art (through Schwitters' collage method) and his fascination...
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1930, Merzbow
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