Merzbow – Bariken (Blossoming Noise) 2005


Along with Dust of Dreams, this is my favourite Merzbow record. Blossoming Noise has released some of the finest Merzbow records out there at the moment (Senmaida, Zophorus) but Bariken is now out of print and well, I’ve already voiced my opinion on what I think of that concept. I mean seriously how fucking hard can it be to keep a  record in print. If you have any interest in Merzbow at all then you need to get yourself a copy of Bariken. One of the reasons it works so well for me is that it is equal parts noise maelstrom and recognisable forms. Minka Pt.1 reminds me of the opening of Bauhaus Double Dare which I think is fucking excellent because you know, I like Bauhaus, yet at the same time the noise is nudging the higher thresholds of Merzbow’s output. The second track, Bariken,  is all industrial bombast and crunchy Dilloway-esque effects and I put my hand up and say I really enjoy when he goes a bit industrial and in my opinion it anchors some of his finer work. On most of the  tracks a sound akin to a squadron of WW2 Spitfires overheard makes an appearance. The same  effect anchors Minka Pt.2 which almost suffocates the other layers to create a track full of ominous dread.Minka Pt.3 begins as all crackles and kitchen clatter before some tribal drumming begins and some micro vocal dispatches makes an appearance. It’s almost a bit like Nurse with Wound at times. The whole album  is rounded off by one of Merzbow’s finest moments – the epic Bariken (reprise), 30 minutes of noise textures and industrial rhythm menace before evolving into a noise-ambient masterpiece. Nearly perfect.

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