Merzbow – Turmeric (Blossoming Noise) 2006

This is the biggest and longest Merzbow record I’ve tackled. Coming to terms with what’s on here and writing sensibly about it maybe the hardest thing I’ve done on this blog. Essentially Turmeric consists of four discs of electronic noise devoid of recognisable forms. It was released in an edition of 900 and the  four discs are categorised by their colour: Purple, Yellow, Orange and Green. It came out in the midst of the release of many of his Merz recordings. To place it in some form of  Merz-context, Turmeric is the very antithesis of Mr Akita’s more listener friendly side.

Although this is a pure noise record it is a less harsh or frenetic offering than say Pulse Demon or 1930. Each track explores single or a limited number of ideas. The thick layers of noise that I’ve come to expect from his recent output are absent  In fact as far as Merzbow records go it is mostly a simple soul – exploring noise without showing off.  Like any Merzbow record it is very hard to completely pin down. For the most part it lacks  the rollercoaster head-fuck of 1930 or Tauromachine and  it also minimises the bastard factor which is evident in some of his more grindcore inspired recordings.  Consensus on the interwebs seems to suggest that the Black Boned recordings on the “Green” disc are the pick of the tracks. To my ears the two tracks titled Deaf Composition on the purple disc are the best tracks here, particularly the second the one titled 003. It is a difficult record to come to terms with and write about. Although I’ve distinguished it from records like 1930, Turmeric gives me the same head rush because like 1930, it doesn’t matter how many times I listen to it, I’m always going to hear something new. Probably in the top five Merzbow records I’ve heard.

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