Merzbow – Uzura: 13 Japanese Birds Pt.5 (Important) 2009


The intent behind Uzura is a bit different to his earlier four releases in his series. The titles of the  three tracks is Requiem for the 259000 quails culled at a farm in Toyohashu Part 1-3, so I suppose this release is firmly in the vein of Merzbow’s other angry message albums like Bloody Sea, Peace for Animals and Mizano. Except this, like its previous albums in the 13 Bird series, follows a similar formula. Thingskick off with the mad drumming overlaid with Merzbow’s patented scree and hiss. I’ve heard it before and while it is fine for what it is , I’m was looking forward to something a bit fresher. The odd thing about these Birds records is the fact that on each of them the final two tracks are the ones which are truly interesting. The second track starts off as a generic Merzbow track before almost stopping dead half way through and re-emerging beat-filled and full of light before it gradually becomes denser. Its bang on full of those swirling textures and surprises that make Merzbow ‘s work so exciting. The final track starts off with some subtle mad drumming and a sound that is something akin to an oboe and what initially sounds like human wailing quickly becomes a different oboe-type noise before sounding again like something almost mournful and human. Shit it’s good. Almost like free-jazz, goth Merzbow but quiet and restrained.  It of course quickens, slows down, adds some retro synth noodling and that siren effect he uses so well.  This is another great addition to the series. Can he keep it up is the question.

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