Merzbow – Oersted (Vinyl Communications) 1996


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I don’t know where I’ve been living for the last couple of years but in the last couple of months I’ve discovered discogs.com. Besides being a free way of cataloging my music (take that Record Collector!) it is also a great way of picking up out of print releases without having to search ebay every week. I received an email form a reader a couple of weeks ago where he listed his favourite Merzbow records and I was a bit surprised that I had only heard about two of them. Many of his favourite releases are from the pre-laptop era of the mid-1990’s, a period of his work that i don’t know enough about although my thoughts on two of the key release from this period, Pulse Demon and Venerology have appeared on this site. Both of those records are certainly towards the more extreme end of Merzbow’s noise excursions and it is perhaps for that reason I haven’t felt the need to return to those records because to be honest how much of that kind of noise does anyone really need. Well as it pans out quite a bit.  I don’t want to see like an obsessive fucker but since the last Japanese Birds record came in late September I’ve acquired Age of 369/Chant 2, Fantail, Hybrid Noisebloom, Space Metalizer, Camouflage,  Ikebukuro Dada, Rainbow Electronics  2 and his collaboration with Porn. I’m figuring that might be all the Merzbow I need but then I read a recent interview Merzbow did with a French Website where Merzbow hints at a future no-wave influence and you know I’ll be lining up for those records.

Oersted is a pretty harsh Merzbow record with few identifiable forms and it is these sorts of Merzbow records that I’m listening to a lot a the moment.  Experimental musician, Mason Jones, quoted in the Merzbook says this:

“I live by their Noiz. It seems to have no rule, no limits and is totally expansive. I can get lost in those dense textures for hours on end. Philosophically, I think I like noise because it is a collage of sound…What I really want to hear is an unencumbered, original voice leaking through. Of the harsher artists, Merzbow was the most popular – part of this maybe because there are more Merzbow releases and the recordings are easier to find. I think there is more to it than that however. Merzbow’s noise is the result of more editing and a greater variety fo sound textures.

Jone’s thoughts could so easily be applied to Oersted. If you’re a fan of 1930 then this is well worth tracking down (I think you can download it off itunes). Both are towards the harsher end of Merzbows work but both also share a playfulness which isn’t present in the more grindcore offerings of Pulse Demon and Venerology. Just don’t  buy Oersted thinking you might find a beat of some sort. Oersted displays the  sort of noise you can drown in .

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One Response to “Merzbow – Oersted (Vinyl Communications) 1996”

  1. One of his best albums. Cant beleive you found a copy, its quite rare.
    I love the minimalist packaging, pink and bright green, what a combo.

    Good to see you finally got your hands on Age of 369/Chant.
    Another of his releases that gets alot of playtime on my stereo.

    Know, you know your a Merzbow nut if you track down the Merzbox.
    Number 998 reporting in!
    Definately worth a purchase, im pretty sure Extreme still has copies.

    Cheers for the good review.

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