Monday, 8 July 2019

Merzbow - Dead Lotus.

Album: Dead Lotus
Artist: Merzbow
Label: No Funeral Records
Catalogue  no: nf-009


       1.      Dead Lotus pt 1
       2.      Dead Lotus pt 2
       3.      Dead Lotus pt 3
       4.      Spirulina Blue

I have pondered, many times in fact, how long it would take for someone to listen to the entirety of Merzbow’s recorded output – his productivity would surely make that a lifetime’s work. You’d get to the end of the last one you bought only to find that in the meantime he’s released 600 further albums.

Before I go any further, I am not denigrating either the man or the music – I find his work endlessly fascinating and texturally multi-layered. I have more than a few of his releases and each one has something new to offer, and something new to say. On top of that, even at his fiercest and rawest, his collages of blasting jet engine noise and swirling chaos more often than not send me into blissful states of reverie.

This strictly limited edition cassette release for the tiny No Funeral Records label out of Cambridge, Canada is no exception – three shortish slabs of lush carpets of chaotic static and pure noise, interspersed with recognisable almost rhythmic bass ‘beats’ and shrieking high-pitched whines, feedback, squeaks, and machine noises on side one (which form a themed whole) and a longer, layered, and shimmering assemblage that is, dare I say it, almost tuneful. ‘Spirulina Blue’ is what I would call ‘classic’ industrial music, the kind I particularly gravitated to in the late eighties/early nineties. This one still has the Merzbow trademark nuclear granulation but also includes a keening ‘melody’ weaving its way through the noise. I’m even tempted to categorise this as dark noise ambient – labels are mostly useless when it comes to this Japanese artist but in this case it fits nicely.

This, as I said above, is a strictly limited release on cassette so if my description tickles your earbuds then you can purchase from either:


Psymon Marshall 2019

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