Uma169 Merzbow – Cloud Cock OO Grand 2LP | 34€
Merzbow came roaring onto the Tokyo scene in 1979. To this day, the project remains one of the most prolific and aggressively forward-thinking acts in experimental music. Initially a duo of Masami Akita and Kiyoshi Mizutani, before settling as the moniker of Akita alone, the project took its name from German artist Kurt Schwitters‘ pre-war architectural assemblage, The Cathedral of Erotic Misery or Merzbau, and quickly set out to challenge entrenched notions of what music could be. Embracing technology and the machine, even in its earliest iterations, Merzbow broke boundaries and pushed toward new territories of the extreme, arriving at an unadulterated manifestation of sonic expression that has continued across the last 44 years, setting the pace for the entire genre of noise along the way.
When it comes to Japanese noise, few projects have pushed boundaries or risen to a more iconic status than Merzbow. The mutant child of punk and experimental music, the project’s blistering sounds – as singular and wild as they are unique – are among the movement’s most important, definitive statements, continuously laying the groundwork for countless artists who have followed in its wake. Cloud Cock OO Grand marks a new era for Merzbow, the first of many CDs that will go in the direction we’d see in the ’90s. It is also the first time that this seminal document from Merzbow’s ’90s period has ever appeared on vinyl. Composed and performed on synthesizers, metal devices, noise electronics and string instruments, all recorded at extreme volumes, Cloud Cock OO Grand’s five tracks present an enthralling sonic assault, deeply driven by the presence of electronic sounds, played against the sparse interjections of Akita’s heavily processed strings, that push toward new territories of the extreme, while subtly nodding toward historical gestures from the early years of the avant-garde. On the double vinyl, the tracks are not only remastered by Merzbow, but are recontextualized and open up a new sense of his studio experimentation at the time.
Reissued as a double vinyl edition of 299 copies with cover that faithfully reproduces the original art work plus a poster, Cloud Cock OO Grand is a stunning feat of remarkable importance within the genre of noise, delivering this long unavailable masterstroke back into our hands, while further illuminating the project’s crucial work from the 1990s. This is an absolute must for the indoctrinated Merzbow fan as much as those just entering this incredible world.
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