Boomkat Product Review:
Ferocious, previously unreleased Masami Akita works produced circa 1994’s ‘Venereology’ and ‘Hole’, now issued by Room 40 to mark the 40th anniversary of Merzbow’s conception.
“In the late 1980s, Masami Akita’s Merzbow began to shift from being a studio project into a fully fledged performative undertaking. It was a decisive period that began opening up new possibilities for his very particular approach to sound.
Across the first half of the 1990s, Merzbow began touring extensively across Europe, the United States and also in his homeland. It was during this period that the dynamism of Merzbow exploded and the physicality of volume became a primary driver for the experiential capacity of the work.
Simultaneously, Merzbow began developing a range of self made instruments and techniques for exploiting found objects as sound sources, which he used in combination with amplifiers to create a unique spectra of noise and feedback both in the studio and live.
Noise Mass catalogues a critical period within the continuum of Merzbow. It typifies the radical approaches he developed not just through his music, but also through mastering, pushing the very medium of digital audio to its limit through extreme post-production approaches.
Of Noise Masami Akita remarks,
“This was around the time Venereology was released from Relapse and the work of Merzbow became more well known to the world. Far greater quantities of that Relapse release were pressed, and much more promotion along with it. In other words, the image of Merzbow's music as it is best known in the world today came from this time. The music of Merzbow has always been a continuum, the piece added this time to Noise Mass, the revised version of Hole, is a work utilising a voice similar in style to Venereology. Listening to both Hole and Venereology, one can appreciate how these works constitute a thread of continuity through this period.”
Noise Mass is just that, a ritual of intensity and ferocity that denotes the force that is Merzbow’s approach to noise in the absolute.”