Merzbow – Merzbear (Important) 2007


merzbear.jpg

I recently got this in the mail along with CD’s by the Fire Engines and Black Dice, however it was this particular offering that caught my partner’s atttention.

Her: That’s a nice cover. What does it sound like?

Me: Like a massive electronic fart with an evil techno beat.

Her: Oh ……. not one for me then.

This is the first Merzbow recording I’ve dabbled in (besides the stuff he did with Sunn0))) on Flight of the Behemoth). I think the reason for my late arrival into the world of Merzbow is the continual references to his noise being “extreme”. For the life of me I have no idea why the mere description of “extreme” frightened me off. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m not afraid of a challenge but the idea of delving yet again into a noise record that had the potential of sounding like most other noise records left me cold. Anyway, I have been listening to those two tracks on Flight of the Behemoth and thought “Fuck it, now is as good a time as any.”

Now I realise that according to people that know about such things, this is supposed to be the most accessible record he’s released in some time. I have nothing to compare it to so I’m not exactly going to fucking argue. The noise is less extreme than I expected. I mean, this is still pretty full on noise but I suppose what I wasn’t expecting was the texture of the noise. This is kind of like Kid 606’s Down With the Scene record crossed with Wolf Eyes if that makes sense. In the first two tracks there is this solid electronic beat anchoring proceedings. The first track combines a thumping hard house beat with some oddly Dead C sounding guitar parts, both of which attempt to fight their way out of the electronic bog.

I enjoy this record as much as John Wiese’s Soft Punk although they are obviously very different beasts (Wiese being the extreme sound collagist, Merzbow being a more straight forward noise artist). The similarity is the precision of the noise. There is little flabby, noise-wankery on either record. Dare I say it there is a cold professionalism to Merzbear which has certainly kept me fascinated for the last couple of days. Merzbear is a great record. I’m hooked and it’s time to delve a little deeper into Merzbow’s world but with a catalogue as huge as his where the fuck do I start. Seriously I have no idea, Can anyone help?

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2 Responses to “Merzbow – Merzbear (Important) 2007”

  1. honestly, I’ve been just as scared to dive into the world of Merbrow as you were
    I downloaded this album a while ago but it’s just sat in my itunes unlistened to for a long time
    now I think I’ll give it a go

    as far as where to go from here, in addition to Merzbear, these are the records recommended to me as the most friendly places to start: Merzbird, Merzbeat (I actually listened to a bit of that and it’s kind of nice), and Merzbuddha

  2. noisenoisenoise Says:

    Cheers Tim,

    Thanks for the tip. I also hear great things about Sphere and 1930 as well. I managed to pick up Merzzow a couple of weeks ago which I think is part of the same series you talk about.
    There’s also a great live Boris and Merzbow collaboration which has just come out where Merzbow becomes the fourth member of Boris. They chug through a pretty full throttled live set of the tracks from Pink. It’s another bullshit limited edition but well worth tracking down.
    Have you heard Flight of the Behemoth? Those last two tracks with Merzbow are incredible.

    Dave

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