Merzbow – Hodosan (Vivo) 2008



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  • Last week I bought a subscription to Merzbow's "Birds" series. Thirteen CD's over 13 months seems a bit excessive but this is Merzbow and I'm sure if you look up his name in any forum you come across, the word prolific will be overused. It is perhaps this constant releasing of new material which resulted in much of his 2008 output being less than essential.  There is an inherent risk in the subscription series. It's a shitload of money to part with upfront and his recent track record has been sketchy but it was listening to Hodosan that gave me a renewed faith in Merzbow's quality control and I concede it's a cliche, his noise genius. You see not to put too fine a point on it, Hodosan is fucking great.  I was questioning whether I would dabble with Merzbow again after some of the pap he released this year but over its three lengthy tracks Hodosan crystalizes the promise which glimmered in the first track on Annica in a completely mental, heavy metal drumming spazzfest. It is without doubt the most fun I've had with a Merzbow record for a while. It's Merzbow for headbangers. Frenetic drumming layered with washes of harsh electronics has a certain appeal and if you only buy one of his records from last year then this should probably be it.

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