Boomkat Product Review:
Japanese noise originator Masami Akita (Merzbow) & singer/songwriter/improvising drummer/pianist, Eiko Ishibashi make a powerful marriage of styles and sensibilities in the multi-layered, two-part masterpiece Slide / Junglegym for Editions Mego.
When he’s good, Merzbow is untouchable from any angle, and a worthy spar often seems to bring the best out of him. Here, Eiko proves to be a poignant match, providing a timbral assault redolent of Charlemagne Palestine that both fills out the lulls in Akita’s storms, and also charges him into stranger, dynamic nooks and crannies that we generally don’t hear from him.
Slide is quite something, taking 18 minutes to build from a dense, shimmering harmonic core into waves of of blissful radiance with a classically-minded agenda before an onslaught of rapid, sustained keys and rushing blast beats are introduced to what could now be termed a tornado. From herein their trajectory knows few bounds, colliding various strands of practice, from free jazz to black metal and psychedelia, in a ravaging, jaw-dropping scene of eschatological beauty and terror.
Junglegym picks up at another place entirely on the other side. The bellicose emotions spent on the other side are replaced with a pensive pallor of doom and panic, initially emerging quietly with a passage of shocking minimalism before engaging a range of tactics, from extended piano technique to wild-eyed electronics and spattered percussion, to resolve their fate and feel out their cold cell of floor melting sub bass and slime-dripping ceramic harmonics.