Merzbow – 13 Japanese Birds Pt.2: Fukurou


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I’m starting to think that signing up for this subscription may have been the smartest move I’ve made in some time. Vol. 2: Fukurou is just so good that you should go and track one down even if you haven’t signed up for the series. This is even better than Vol.1 and I thought that record was an extremely great start. Again we return to the theme of drumming overlayed with sheets of analogue noise of various speeds, intensities and volumes but on Vol.2 Merzbow’s sense of  fun returns. This is as merticulous Merzbow as you could  hope for. It is fair to say that most of his 2008 releases seemed to revel in extremity for extremities sake. On Vol. 2, Merzbow allows quieter moments, sounds to breath and lets light into his compositions. I’ll even go as far to say that on Vol.2, Merzbow managed to produces sounds and effects and compositional blueprints that I have never heard him go near before. The most startling tracks are the middle two.On Variation No.1 he manages to create an almost gothic/doom effect of an arctic wind whipping across frozen tundra that bands like Sunn O))) produce so well. The eeriness of the track is enhanced by a brooding and very slow drum beat before layer upon layer slowly builds to create noise nirvana. Variation 2 is completely different. The drumming becomes more frantic and through the noise there are some man made effects that mimic the sounds of birds. The first and last tracks are the longest and it is probably on the first track, Gorosukehoukou that Merzbow’s sense of fun is most evident. He seems to let his oscillating tones find their own path rather than pressing them together to create the humourless and hard going nonsense that has plagued some of his more recent releases. Vol.2 Fukurou is an absolute gem. I think it is going to be a very good year indeed.

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One Response to “Merzbow – 13 Japanese Birds Pt.2: Fukurou”

  1. I agree: this album is really, really good.

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