Merzbow – Dolphin Sonar (Important) 2008


I’ve lined up for the  last couple of “Animal Rights” records that Merzbow has released and to be honest they just are not my favourite examples of what he does. Mizano was OK, Peace For Animals I played once and haven’t touched since and Bloody Sea (Save The  Whales) to be honest was an unrelenting mawe of power electronics. To me, once Merzbow decides to do one of his “issue albums” the subtlety and texture and all round excitement that his noise induces is replaced by white hot anger. And you know, I get his anger, I really do, I get why he’s angry, but an enjoyable listening experience it seldom becomes.

And it is for those reasons that it was fully my intention to give Dolphin Sonar a wide berth.  The pleasure I get from Merzbow are the attention to detail records like 1930, the death disco big beat of the Merz series and the barely there rock pig action of Aquanecromancer.  I ended up relenting and to be honest I’m glad I did. The whole point to Dolphin Sonar is to highlight the annual dolphin slaughter in a Japanese coastal village. I remember seeing a video of it form a few years ago  and indeed it’s pretty fucking brutal and you have to wonder how is in this day and age it’s still allowed to continue. Where Dolphin Sonar differs from his previous issue albums is the level of texture he gets into his noise. It’s a fascinating listen. I wouldn’t recommend this as a place to start for new Merzbow enthusiasts, that cute (but very deceptive) cover art might say otherwise. For those with a significant Merzbow habit Dolphin Sonar is not bad at all. 

Dolphin Slaughter 2007 (not Merzbow’s music obviously) Warning – It’s a fucking awful thing to watch

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