Music Reviews

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Artist: Merzbow
Title: Life Performance
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Writing a critique of one of Masami Akita's work is not an easy task as the historical importance acts as a deforming mirror of the musical value. Life Performance is the reissue of a '85 cassette release and shows some of the characteristics for whom Merzbow symbolizes a genre. While in Europe, the first noise acts tied a shocking imaginary to the musical impact, Masami Akita tied it to an art form. Instead of conceiving noise as a symbol for pain, it's the direct result of the juxtaposition of sound sources, probably discarded as the material used by Kurt Schwitters, until the fulness of the sound spectrum. So, the collage of the artwork is a reference of the method used in the development of the "action", a term not used without a reference, whose result is recorded in this release.
"Nil Vagina Mail Action" is a single track in five part: the first one starts with a tape loop upon a background noise which gradually reveals itself as generated by electronic, probably noise generators and filters, with inserts of samples that could even be of pop music. The second part is characterized by the loop of the central part which unifies the other sound sources used. The third part is close to a white noise generated by components which reveal themselves at their time. The fourth part sounds generated by phone tones as a picture of the crowd which surround a person. The fifth part closes this release with a loop upon an evolving noise.
This release is so far from the usual representation of noise of a monolithic mass of sound without movement that remind of the motivations for whom this kind of music is even able to approach art galleries. A piece of history which cannot be rated.



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