Merzbow - _Bariken_
(Blossoming Noise, 2005)
by: Xander Hoose (8.5 out of 10)
Reviewing a Merzbow release is not just difficult, it's also almost pointless. Before you have finished reading the review, Merzbow will probably have released his next album. _Bariken_ is his first album on the new Blossoming Noise label and, quite frankly, it's one of the most refreshing works I've heard from him in quite some time. Masami Akita seems to have steered away from the full heads-on sonic assault approach and given a bit more thought to layering his sound. I say "a bit" because _Bariken_ is still a harsh motherfucker that will scare the hell out of your neighbors and family. But unlike his last few releases, this album seems more focused on textures and rhythms than usual. The beats, the patterns, the loops -- they all fit together, sounding like the musical equivalent of metal parts rusting to dust. This use of patterned music gives _Bariken_ a more ambient feel throughout the noise. Beware though: with five tracks clocking at almost 73 minutes, this release is not easy to swallow. You'd have to be willing to give it a few spins, making yourself comfortable with the wall of sound until your ears start picking up on the details that are covered in layers and layers of noise. Once you do, you'll truly start to appreciate the beauty of this album.


(article published 13/5/2005)

10/19/2001 G Sanchez 7 Merzbow - Collapse Twelve Floors
11/20/2000 G Sanchez 8 Merzbow - Door Open at 8 AM
1/16/1999 G Sanchez 6 Merzbow - Tauromachine
11/18/1996 A Lewandowski 8 Merzbow - Rainbow Electronics 2
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