Merzbow - Turmeric [Blossming Noise - 2006]This is harsh, even by Merzbow standards. All the safety nets like beats, melody and structure, staying in one places for anytime, have all but gone and we are left with a black encrusted grimy beast of an album.That from itís first attack doesnít , let go of your head and throat until near on 4 hours later.
The first disk which offers up: Black Flesh part 1 through to 4.Part 1 starts off in deeply grim fashion ,as chicken swarks are echoed and bashed about, into swarming metallic clattring. Like been attacked by hundreds of birds, peck at your face, hands and arms, your head is full with their sound, later on a electronic seething pulse makes itís way in as the chicken sounds calm down. Part 3 starts off with sinister drone and looped static,soon your bashed over the head by looped sound of tipping steel buckets , then a pulse sound kicks in- very much in the manner of his late 80ís albums, like Pulse demon, but the audio picture seems more crowded and filth smeared here. It makes for a wonderful hypnotic sort of chaos. Then the audio picture gets thicker as, more pulsing and crashing sound pounded into your brain. But the thing is, it seems to morphing all the time either, the back ground pulse alters slightly or the metallic sound changes. Part 4 is the most accessible track here as it has constant metallic beat, but this it's very much layered up with all sorts of metallic crashing and static riffing, giving a feeling of an odd war dance, by strange half human half machines. The chicken sound is still very present, used to emboss the rhythmic loop, this stands as one of my favourite tracks on the set.
Disk two takes in Black Bone Parts 1 through to 5 and they utilise pulse like sound's as a base to build up from. My favourite track here is part two,with it's whistling sound, joined by a wonderful low streached pulse, like a hovering space craft, and added to this is macabre, nightmarish modified chicken noises, like been taking a trip along a strange conveyer belt in a bizarre factory and been pecked ever now and then huge chickens.
Disk three takes in Deaf Compositions no.002 and no.0003. And is very much like the titles suggests, is the audio equivalent of going deaf, the tones seems to waver, and broken up, half formed sounds, ripple by, that seemed to be connected to the world you know, but itís just hints. It really is great a bizarre experience when played on head phones. Deaf compositions no.002 is the longest track on the disk at near on 35 mins but it never getís tired, Merzbow is always adding new textures in,as we take are audio journey, sometimes in almost sounds like people talking, but itís turned into strange gibberish sound patterns. Deaf compositions no.0003 again is very effective mining more watery like sounds, like hearing the world from underwater.
Disk four takes in Black blood parts 1 through to 4, again another disk of pitch black noise and pulse to burn into your mind, one of the highlights here is: Part 3 with itís hellish erratic pecking rhythm, one can imagine been trapped in a room and swarms of flesh eating birds are trying to break into your hiding place, later on the air is thick with stifling sinister ambience, you can almost feel the draining sickly heat at the back of your neck. Pumped up sound of feasting flies, mixed in with grotesque chicken noises.
So a grim and powerful masterpiece, suggesting a world where the animals have taken over and their feed on us instead of us feeding on them, this feeling of Violence and oily dread in the music is added to by the superb artwork, of sinister black silkies (a breed of feathery chickens). Not for every one, certain not for first time Merzbow experience, but for those who have doubted his switch from Analogue to digital, itís time to welcome back the true master of noise.
As a bonus for those wanting even more pitch black audio grime, theres the ltd 5th disk, available separately.This takes in 16 minutes of Black bone five, which again is another prime slab of chaos, pulsing loops, attacking you all round, layered over by hellish screeching, it builds and build making a hypnotic little ride, a short trip to hell I guess.
You can buy it direct hereRoger Batty