Merzbow – Anicca (Cold Spring) 2008


In the  last  month I’ve been reflecting on Merzbow and the  quality of his recent output.  This partially  in response to some comments people have left on the  various Merzbow posts that pepper  this blog. Looking back I think I have been way to generous in my assessments of Dolphin Sonar and Bloody Seas and I’ll admit Merzbear was a bit too favourable as well. Merzbear I can be forgiven for because it was my first Merzbow record. The other two I have issues with my critical analysis. My concern is that Merzbow, in recent years, seems to be descending into some sort of parody of himself. Does he really have something to say on records like Coma Berenices or is he merely going thorugh a paint by numbers approach to noise.  All of the albums I’ve  listed above are humourless slabs of generic , oscillating noise. My theory that his “issue” albums are some of the dullest things he’s done stands true. In fact I’ve never posted on Peace for Animals because, although their have only been 500 copies issued, it’s limited edition pap as far as I’m concerned. Dolphin Sonar has been his “major release” this year, if that’s a fair thing to say, but he’s also released a couple of other things this year that you may have missed. One I certainly missed was Anicca and I vacillated for a while before deciding to buy it. The description of this record is Merzbow drumming. Based on that description I felt somewhat safe that this was not going to be on a par with some of his suckyrece nt output. Over Anicca’s three tracks my faith in Merzbow is only mildly restored.  As an aside,can reviewers of these records not solely rely on the record company press release and actually listen to the fucking thing. The drum heavy noise that all of the reviews speak of lasts for the first track only. And there is some charm in Merzbow going spastic on a drum  kit while he layers the  whole mess with his trademark electronic squall. The remaining two lack the tribal rhythms of the first track (which I say is the best thing on here). Annica Part 2 is just dreadful. Part 3 is a bit between, there i some nice black metal ambience mashed in there which gives it a bit of context. Is it as mind blowingly good as 1930, Sphere, Merzzow, Animal Magnetism, Aqua Necromancer, Frog  or Merzbeat? Well no. Is it better than Dolphin Sonar? Well that’s not fucking hard quite frankly. If your budget has limits and you’re negotiating your way through Merzbow then buy any of those mind blowing album’s I’ve listed. Anicca has a bit of interest for Merzbow fans like myself but, you know, I’m thinking I need more than that before I take the  plunge again. Austin, Seth, Azzief, 26 help me out here.

7 Responses to “Merzbow – Anicca (Cold Spring) 2008”

  1. i’d agree with everything you said here, but i might add pulse demon to the list of top recent albums. also, i dig merzbuddha in a groovy, blissed-out way. not “have to have” but still a good one.

  2. I actually really enjoyed the first track from this album, but the rest is a bit… so-so. Certainly not the best place to start and, yeah, like you mentioned, there are lots more Merzbow albums to get first.

    One of his other ’08 releases, however, “Dead Leaves,” is actually quite good (or, at least, more enjoyable than some of his other recent output). It’s got this rhythmic throb and heaviness to it that I like quite a lot. But then that might just be me.

    I’ve heard good things about “Hodosan” too, which features more of Masami’s free drumming, but I haven’t managed to check it out yet.

  3. noisenoisenoise Says:

    hey azzief, I bought Dead Leaves on the weekend and you’re dead right. i’ll post on it soon. have you seen the Important records subscription series. Merzbow is releasing a record a months for a year.

  4. Ahh, I see. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about “Dead Leaves.”

    No, I haven’t seen that Important records subscription series thing. You mean he’s releasing a record a month for the whole year? Unless he can put out more Dead Leaves-quality work it’s not going to be much to get excited about, I don’t think.

    But you never know with Merzbow, eh?

  5. hey, i checked that out online. thanks for the heads-up.

    are you guys gonna order that?

    not sure it’s my thing. i have a feeling 4 out of the 13 will be good. (!)

    and hopefully if anything is particularly amazing, it’ll be re-released. i don’t know.

  6. noisenoisenoise Says:

    It’s a crap load of money and do I really need to add to the 25 or so Merzbow records I already own. I think you’re right – most will be crap and a couple will be mindblowing. Is it worth the $200 US for a lucky dip. Not sure.

  7. evolkween Says:

    I feel like a nerd for really Merzbear now! Of his records I have so far, Merzbear is the one listen to the most.

    I’m actually listening to Aqua Necromancer for the first time right now.

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