Merzbow – Merzphysics (Youth Inc) 2012


The days of forking out a fortune for these sorts of releases may be coming to an end. This wonderful 10 CD boxset of previously unreleased tracks from 1994 cost me an absolute fucking fortune and I have kids for fuck’s sake. I shouldn’t be spending my children’s school fees on obnoxious noise.

The years 1994-1996 were an incredible time for Merzbow records. Think about records like Pulse Demon, Venerology, Mercurated, Oested, Noise Embryo, Green Wheels, Noizhead, Spiral Honey – all are amazing and among the best work Merzbow ever produced. The purchase of Merzphysics also coincided with me finally seeing Merzbow live. That must rate as one of the best shows I’ve witnesses. The wonderful Lawrence English from Room 40 took advantage of Merzbow being brought out by a festival in another state and organised a free show at the excellent Judith Wright Centre. For an hour Merzbow wore some noise making contraption as a guitar and rubbed it with various implements (my favourite was a plastic spaghetti ladle). It created a continual bombardment of fuzz and feedback , the noise pulsed, chugged, zoomed and threatened. Around the forty minute mark my friends ran for it. It was simply too much for them. I stayed but in those last fifteen minutes things got dark. The noise just became so amazingly oppressive. The floor of the theatre started to feel liquid. It stopped the hipsters who were trying to mosh and dance, dead in  their racks. It was the most extreme sound experience I have ever had. The whole vibe of the room changed, blackened. It just became  gobsmackingly evil. After that experience, listening to Merzphysics is an absolute doddle.

The ten discs that make up Merzphysics are similar in form to those albums that I listed above. These are the types of Merzbow records that I really like getting stuck into. The tracks eschew the recognisable forms of his later work and embrace the multilayered pure noise that pretty much defines the genre. The pleasure in records like Merzphysics is to get amongst the layers to tease out the sounds, to squeeze below the levels of aggression to find its beating heart. The tracks are probably a bit less harsh than those on Venerology and Pulse Demon but this is not a box set for the uninitiated. In many ways I prefer this to Merzbow’s last great boxset Merzbient. Although Merzphysics as a physical package isn’t particularly impressive compared to Merzbinet (and it is much more expensive), the tracks are more the sort of things that I look for in great Merzbow tracks. I just wish it was more affordable so people can hear it. If you can afford it, buy it. The only way of getting hold of it is to buy it off the Merzbow website.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: