Heavy Vanguard: Merzbow // Hybrid Noisebloom

Well, it had to happen sometime; we had to cover Merzbow at some point.

God, how to even begin…we’ve talked about difficulty in experimental music before, usually trying to gauge the accessibility of an album during each of our podcast episodes. Merzbow (AKA Masami Akita) completely wrecks this spectrum, existing in the strange quadrant of noise music: a genre that some people don’t dare tread into.

Arguably, no other artist in the history of music has divided listeners more than Merzbow; his detractors claim that all he does is make noise, while his fans take that former sentiment and express it in a positive light. There simply is no being neutral and/or vague with Masami Akita—his work demands concrete thought, either positive or negative.

On top of his music being some of the most difficult to digest, Akita is also noted as being one of the most prolific musicians in history, with a listed 288 studio albums at the time of this writing. He’s also collaborated with an immense amount of artists, some more well-known being Full Of HellBoris, Thurston Moore (and Sonic Youth), and Xiu Xiu, among many, many others.

Considering these two points (the difficulty of his music and his prolificness), it was difficult to find an album of his that best represented him as a whole. We scoured through a number of message board threads and internet lists, and decided that 1997’s Hybrid Noisebloom would suffice. Although there are other works that are worth noting (such as Pulse Demon and Venereology), Hybrid Noisebloom, in our opinion, shows an interesting side of Akita that was worth talking about.

Recommended Listening:

  • Merzbow—Wattle
  • Merzbow/Gareth DavisAtsusaku
  • Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Baláz Pándi/Thurston Moore—Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper
  • Kazumoto EndoWhile You Were Out

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