Merzbow – Kokuchou: 13 Japanese Birds Pt.8 (Important) 2009


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Well this one started well enough. The relatively short opener, Mesmerism, is essentially drug induced psychedelic groove with some noisy bits thrown at it. There is a bit of drumming towards the end but those looking for a groovy krautrock vibe in their Merzbow would be smart to start here. From there we head to Black Swan which again starts well. I mean, Akita just smashes the shit out of his drum kit to sustain a sound that as a listener I could actually feel. The  interesting thing about it is that with time and as the track progresses, the drumming doesn’t sound as forceful. This is either because Akita is getting on a bit and couldn’t keep up the force, I got used to the volume and it didn’t see so loud after a couple of minutes or the great man chucks so much noisy detritus over the top of it that the drums get buried somewhere in the mix. I’m leaning to the third of those explanations and to be honest it isn’t the most interesting thing he’s done. The third track Colored Rain actually begins with a low roaring drone and what sounds like a million glass panels being smashed before the roaring walls of distortion take the whole thing away. Yes there is drumming but it would have lost none of its power if they didn’t make an appearance at all. There is an innate creepiness in the track, in some ways it creates the same vibe (although obviously sounding very different) as Khanate. That whole suck the joy right out the air kind of thing but that might just be what I bring to it as a listener. It becomes at times less and more bleak as the track progresses and just goes to show that noise can express emotion. I really like the fourth track, Ushiwaka 2. it works along two beat lines. The first a distorted manipulated industrial beat and next to it the organic drumming of Akita himself. And then something strange happens – a noise,which I though initially was a guitar but ends up sounding like a bird in pain weaves in and out of the beats.  I really enjoyed it but not the most fun thing Merzbow’s done but a great addition to the series none the less.

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One Response to “Merzbow – Kokuchou: 13 Japanese Birds Pt.8 (Important) 2009”

  1. I think when all is said and done, this one will be a welcome addition to the series. It sounds like he’s using Roland electronic drums at times…it would be great to see him explore them a bit since you can operate all sorts of soft synths on MIDI.

    Been following along every month, man, keep it up!

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