Merzbow

Venereology

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Be forewarned, the end of days isn't happening, it's just Merzbow. The four tracks on this reissue of a 1994 CD aren't just loud or noisy, they push the envelope so far they challenge the very definition of music. Despite the unholy racket, Merzbow is, unbelievably, composed of only one man, Japanese mastermind Masami Akita. While he's not a household name in the West, Merzbow is perhaps the most well-known artist in the Japanese noise community. His tendency to create tracks that last 30 minutes (the album's opener) and contain almost no discernable melody--opting instead for bangs, skronks, squeaks, and blistering feedback--can make even the most ardent noise fans feel like they're being tested rather than entertained. The three other tracks here are shorter, but no less demented. For true noise fans, this could very well be the Holy Grail of extreme music.

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