Merzbow – 13 Japanese Birds Pt.12: Tsubame (Important) 2009

I’ve been on a bit of a Merz-break. Last year I posted on 28 Merzbow records and that was less than 50% of the Merzbow I actually bought last year. The common theme to many Merzbow reviews I’ve read in recent times is that he is a one dimensional noise artist, but after listening to that many Merzbow records I can attest once and for all that the theory is wrong. My words of advice to anyone looking at taking on Merzbow is to start with a couple of Merz records and then get Pulse Demon, Amlux, Dust of Dreams, 1930 and Sphere. I think those records give you a decent overview and you get a  starting point that allows you to  explore the style of Merzbow that works for you best. In 2010 I’ll probably pick up some of his newer work but a full scale mining of his back catalougue might be for someone else to accomplish (and this from the jerk who a week ago shelled out for Turmeric).

I’m kind of glad that this series is ending although it did  manage to bring some new ideas into his sound. Overall I’m not sure whether it has been successful as a body of work but I might leave that post for 2011. I didn’t necessarily enjoy all of the ideas on this series but there was enough great stuff  to keep me mostly interested throughout the year. Pt.12 opens with one of my favourite tracks of the series, Destroy the Cages, which is chock full of the whirling noise maelstrom and devoid of recognisable forms and reminds me of his work of the late 1990’s. It’s terrific and certainly an antidote to the common drum kit theme of this series. The drum kit makes an appearance in the final two tracks but despite my heavy recent criticism of that damn drum kit,  they’re not too bad. I’ll still be glad to here him put the drum kit away for a while but maybe that’s just me. One more to go.


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