Merzbow

Merzbeat

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

The title says it all: Merzbeat is beat-oriented Merzbow music. That is, extreme noise mayhem backed by or shaped as rhythmic patterns. Masami Akita produced similar albums before, the most noteworthy being 1997's Aqua Necromancer, where samples from progressive rock classics provided a backbone for the noisician's harsh textures. But back then Merzbow still worked with analog equipment (for the most part). Merzbeat is a product of the new millennium. The sampling and looping sound a lot cleaner (so to speak). Yet, this CD comes back to a more visceral form of music, closer to the artist's vintage material. What's in a beat, anyway? Just another sample to blow out of proportion, to distort, to over-amplify until it sounds like a huge truck dancing the cucaracha with a cargo of plastic explosives. The basic tracks for "Promotion Man" have been lifted from a 1972 song by Highway Robbery -- you might recognize the riff, but that's it. Everything else is pure Merzbow, unrelenting and somehow solemn. You won't hear "Forgotten Land" and "Looping Jane (Beat Mix)" at your favorite club (and that's probably best for all of us), but they both bounce around slyly. And yet, when you look at the album as a whole, you see that Merzbow actually applied the same recipe in each piece. Beat-oriented should not translate to one-track-minded. After a lengthy silence listeners are treated to a bonus track, a remix of "Amlux," courtesy of Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dangers -- surprisingly, the most creative track on this disc. Nevertheless, Merzbeat makes a good addition to an already overwhelming discography and could provide a gentler point of entry to the curious but slightly frightened ear.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 8:58 Amazon
2 13:20 Amazon
3 11:49
4 5:51 Amazon
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66 8:17
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