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Merzbow - Anicca [Cold Spring - 2008]

Anicca finds Merzbow in a wonderfully urgent, manic and often chaotic mood; offering up three lengthy tracks that literal stream roller your mind in breathless submission & leave you feeling very pump-up and almost hyper.

It all starts off with Anicca part one which finds a rapid and bombarding live rhythmic drum attack slamming into you with aggressively improvised vigour; With the drums precussive flavour falling somewhere between jazz and  a metallic battering.  Meshed around the central drum element are shifting plates of  caustic noise matter which seemingly slice in all round you and in and out of the drums continuous attack that’s brutal, yet complex and highly heady. The track literal nails you to the floor then carries on at you like a rapid road drill attack for just shy of the 20 minute mark- certainly this stands as one of the most urgent, unforgiving yet complexly rhythmic openers of any merzbow album.  Anicca part two strips out the drums and goes for a shifting steamroller noise storm attack with Masami aptly and actively shifting the textures around with no divined grounding in either rhythmic or element repetition which leaves the listener in a wonderful constant audio free fall. With the dense texturing going from swirling static storms, careering pitch squeals, manic electro robot  chatter & boiling sound hazes with slightly harmonic undertones. The track keeping superbly urgent, inventive and twisting through out it’s 20 plus minute life.

Lastly we have Anicca part three which settles things down into a less urgent and manic mood. With at first long feedback trails been stretched over a jerking electro chatter ‘n’ boil smog; & then deep with-in the track a   looped and melted ethnic carnival rhythmic loop starts up- as slow moving chops of phraser noise, static Singes are stretched and bowed across. Soon the track breaks down for the  introduction of a 80’s type melted synth drum texture, before kick back into dense yet memorable noise making that shines with Gamelan and 80's melted and noised-up electrocia. Also later on a rather nice waltzing type  and cut-up easy-listening element bobs to the surface briefly, which rather brought to mind the recent Dead leaves album.

Anicca is a dizzying, urgent and hectic excise in merzbow’s very distinctive take on audio scraping and noise making. Yet another rewarding and brain frying ride showing once more why Merzbow is the undisputed king of the noise genre.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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