MERZBOW – Arijigoku(Test Mix)


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The Merzbow Archive Series by Slowdown Records, which has released 11 series so far, has entered its 12th edition.
In this series, the sound sources from 2008 to 2009 will be released.
Originally, Merzbow was a drummer who was greatly influenced by free music in the 70’s including psychedelic and progressive rock, but as Merzbow (duo era, with Kiyoshi Mizutani in the late 70’s and Merzbow Null in the early 80’s) This was the first time that a full-fledged drum was used in a work under the sole name of Merzbow.
The “13 Birds Series” (Important Records), in which 13 works were released over a year from 2008 to 2009, is famous for the works of this style of Merzbow, but it was launched in April 2008. It was a recording work for a new album scheduled to be released from Cold Spring in the UK at Tin Pan Alley Studios the day after the London performance. At that time, the technique of recording the live drums in the studio and synthesizing them with computer noise was taken, which was the beginning of full-scale drum use after that (this recording was recorded in “Anicca” (Cold Spring, 2008). After returning to Japan, the style of using this drum evolved into a combination of improvisational noise as well as computer sound sources, such as “Arijigoku” (Vivo, 2008), “Protean World” (Noiseville, 2008), and “Microkosmos” (Blossoming Noise, 2009).
Around the same time, Mr. Akita met Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi and began to perform frequently overseas in a duo with him. After meeting a drummer who was familiar with not only metal and grind core but also Sun Ra and free jazz, and who had many things in common with Mr. Akita in his musical background, this style became the drum performance that Merzbow has constantly sought out.

As the title suggests, this work “Arijigoku(Test Mix)” contains a test mix of the album “Arijigoku” released in 2008. The live drums are recorded separately at the rental studio and mixed with noise at a later date.
“Arijigoku” was the first work by Merzbow to challenge the combination of live drums and improvisational noise performance in earnest, so from this test mix, you can hear the traces of trial and error more vividly. From the first song, which has a performance that maintains the beat and a scene where the drum performance stops like a break, and the combination with a balance that gives a space as a whole is impressive, the drum performance and noise collide with each other at full throttle. There is a wide range of sounds that can be produced by the combination of the two elements, up to the third song of the last match.

– Shuta Hiraki

Track List:
01. Arijigoku Test 01
02. Arijigoku Test 02
03. Arijigoku Test 04

Additional information

Weight 2 oz
Dimensions 5 × 5 × .15 in