Without sounding too reductive, we can more or less pinpoint a typical Merzbow sound, that distinctive wall of sound (be it analogue or digital). However, some other projects of his sound nothing like that. I'm thinking about records such as Escape Mask, Merzbuddha, Merzbient and even this year's Hyakki Echo, as well as some of his colaborations with artists outside of noise (Merzxiu, Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper...). I tend to really like these records but as I'm not familiar with most of Merzbow's discography, I don't know that many like that. Can you guys give me some recommendations?
Post by andypandy380 on Dec 10, 2017 15:51:46 GMT -5
'Graft' from 2010 is a particular standout for me, its has more emphasis on unusual soundplay and is a bit of a weird sidestep for Merzbow. The bonus 7" that came with some copies is fantastic too. With regards to other less feedback centric albums, I can think of 3RENSA, Kamadhenu, A Taste Of, Scene, Music for bondage performance 1 and 2, Live from radio 100, ZaRa and Merzbeat.
Thanks for the recommendations! andypandy380, I know 3RENSA, Kamadhenu and Merzbeat and really like all of them, so those were spot on. I sampled through the others and they all really seemed great so I'll have to give those a more careful listen. The ones that really grabbed my attention were Music for Bondage Performance. I ended up listening all of it and I love them. I recently ordered Kaoscitron so it'll have to wait a bit but next I'm definitely getting those. Bucketfel, I heard some of it and so far I really liked part 3. I'll go through the rest because they definitely sound interesting.
Post by andypandy380 on Dec 11, 2017 16:26:20 GMT -5
Im definitely overdue another listen of the two bondage performabce albums. When I first got hold of them I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed them. Pretty sure you'll enjoy Kaoscitron too, in many ways its a sort of '3RENSA meets Merzbeat' kind of a sound with a couple of nore standard Merzbow tracks too.
Post by venereologist on Dec 21, 2017 18:14:52 GMT -5
Seconding ZaRa. Though it seems to have mostly lukewarm-to-negative reviews online, I think it's really exceptional. It takes a musique concrete-style approach on the first side, and includes lots of processed guitar. It is pleasantly "organic" in terms of how it develops from one phase to the next. There is substantial depth, movement and timbral variety, but also plenty of room to breathe. I can really immerse myself in it.
Also, while it's a short record, I think it benefits from the length. It leaves me wanting more instead of overstaying its welcome.
"Vibractance" is what comes to my mind first as a very unusual Merzbow album, and a great one too.
I wanted to start a new thread, but I think my idea fits this one: there are a few tracks and parts of tracks which to me sound drastically different from what Merzbow usually does. Here they are:
- The shrieks at the very end of side B of "Flare Gun": I assume they're Reiko A's screams. She sounds pretty terrified! It's a great ending to the track. - The introduction and ending of "Project Frequency": unlike "Flare Gun", this is not on Youtube, and since it's an expensive LP, I presume not many here have heard it. That's a shame, cause these short tracks (both around 30 seconds) feature what sound like sampled (male) vocals of a tortured kind, mixed with similarly tortured electronics. - The track "~Blood Sadist Goes To Nudist" from "Metalvelodrome": another roughly 30-second track, this one sounds like someone is being brutalized/strangled, with fairly ominous-sounding electronics underneath.
What I'm getting at is that to me, these tracks (which I love) are very different from what Merzbow usually sounds like because of the nature of the vocals. To begin with, as we all know, vocals of any kind are very rare in Merzbow's music, but with the death metal-style vocals on some of his albums I don't get the feeling that they're really bizarre like the above mentioned examples, because they "fit" the music more naturally. The above examples, however, to me feel like they are really different from typical Merzbow music, because these unusual vocals/voices add a striking and emotionally charged element to the music which it otherwise doesn't possess.
Does anyone else have any examples of what they think is also radically different from what we're used to from Merzbow? Examples can be albums (although they've been covered in this thread, and I think there was a similar thread before as well), but I'm thinking more along the lines of tracks or parts of albums, whether it's a particular sound, loop, musical structure etc.
I really enjoy Vibractance and Merzdub. Great stuff. Regarding voice in Merzbow records, I wasn't familiar with those tracks so went and listened to them and you're right the vocals fit perfectly. I would really like to see Merzbow soundtrack a spoken word piece. If done right, it could really turn out something special
Last Edit: Mar 25, 2018 11:54:46 GMT -5 by kanyewest
Post by andypandy380 on Mar 25, 2018 13:17:11 GMT -5
Kanyewest: have you heard 'A perfect Pain'? The collaboration between Merzbow and Genesis P-Orridge. It's a great album centred around spoken word.
With reference to unusual merzbow tracks... for some reason I really like Sugarmo Rising Sun Gas Station from Psychorazer. Its just a minute long synth sound that slowly fades in, but I always liked the way it worked as a transition between tracks. Hummingbird is also a standout track for me, quite far removed from the normal merzbow sound but i love it.
I listened to about half of "Merzdub", but I still didn't like it much.
Somehow I never got around to listening to "Perfect Pain", which is rather odd. I'm sure I will someday .
That short track on the awesome "Psychorazer" is indeed quite unusual for Merzbow.
I'd say the "Merzzow" album, which features "Hummingbird", is one of the more unusual Merzbow albums. It has a lot of influences from electroacoustic music and even melodies in some tracks. I've always had a soft spot for that album.
Judging from the samples from the upcoming "Exoking" album, no doubt it will be one of the most unusual Merzbow albums...
Post by andypandy380 on Mar 29, 2018 17:00:10 GMT -5
I definitely need to listen to Merzdub. It's one of those albums I've ignored for ages and I don't really know why. Found some samples of it the other day and actually thought it was quite an interesting sound. Jamie Saft has entered my conciousness a lot more recently, Ive been watching a lot of footage of John Zorn's Jazz bands which feature Saft, very talented organ player, great beard too
About Merzdub i like the closing title "Slow down furry dub" very much with its "raining", "melancholic" atmosphere. Not an usual, but catched me. Would be big words to compare with Ulver, but I felt the same like "Little blue bird"... in atmosphere.
If I were to rate Merzdub, I'd use Christgau's terminology saying it's "choice cut". The song Trollh mentioned is far superior to the rest of the album, the instrumental alone is great and moody enough, but the way Merzbow's noise is brought in, progressively replacing the calming rain sound is downright genius. The overall album is while unique, unfortunately not very good. Jamie's distorted diatribe sounds powerful at first (I loved the use of that kinda vocals in the previously mentioned Flare Gun), but it's so overused here, that it makes Merzdub a chore to get through.
The second half of "Live In Khabarovsk, CCCP" is one of the most unusual gems in the discography, I think. That's the only Merzbow song I know of where there's percussion that is rhythmically conventional and is not a loop. Moreover, the other parts of the song follow the drumming's rhythm which makes it a surprisingly accessible listen.
I listened to the "Electroploitation" 7" recently (one of Merzbow's best 7" releases) and side A has looped vocals that sound pretty tortured, making it an unusual Merzbow track in my view. The use of strange vocals, because it's so rare in Merzbow's music, automatically stands out as unusual in his work for me.
Post by andypandy380 on Apr 25, 2019 9:56:39 GMT -5
Haven't got round to hearing that one. In general I'm quite a fan of Merzbow's 7" singles though and started trying to collect a bunch of them, I feel like there's often as many ideas crammed in to a shorter time span.
I like them too and the 7” format in general. I have almost all of Merzbow’s 7”s that I’m interested in (meaning from the ‘90s) and have recently ordered two that I’m still missing.
As far as unusual Merzbow material is concerned, I feel the “Music for Bondage Performance” CDs deserve a mention. I rarely see them mentioned and I myself hadn’t listened to them in many years, but recently I listened to both. Volume one is the creepier of the two. It’s easier for me to imagine volume one’s tracks being used as bondage soundtracks than those of volume two, which has less of a dark and creepy and more of a very strange atmosphere. It’s quite bizarre music that’s a far cry from the harshness of Merzbow in this period (1993-94). There are a lot of traditional musical elements that are manipulated to the point of no longer being musical, although there’s a surprising part in one of the tracks where a “normal” melody is looped for a while. These two CDs are highly recommended to those curious to hear a much more restrained and pretty twisted side of Merzbow.
noisefroind: I have two tapes from this series..
Jul 29, 2014 8:22:30 GMT -5
noisefroind: 1990-09-07 bulkhead, santa cruz and
Jul 29, 2014 8:22:58 GMT -5
hanatartrash: merzbow more like merzcow because of how morbidly obese he is jajajajjajaajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja
Jan 16, 2017 22:27:57 GMT -5