Merzbow - Merzbear [Important Records - 2007]Merzbear throbs and purrs, chugs and pulses its way along. Coming off with almost a groovy and more rock related vibe running through the tracks, but fear not this is still very much in Merzbow territory.
Though on the surface this doesn’t seem to have much in common with the previous Merz pre-titled releasers on Important, as there are no distinctive beats on display here, where the other titles tended towards more approachable beat matter and conventional electronic edge. Instead each track is based around offten rhythmic & repetitive slicing/chopping of the EMS Sythi Pulses, which links with this to the others in the series. But unlike some tracks that have appeared on past Merz releasers, the tracks here never become stale or stayed- he never just loops a similar sequence over and over again. Like the best Merzbow material he is building and changing the material from the base up.
Over the throbbing pulse base he adds on all manner of guitar and electronic matter be it; grinding, sawing, burning or improvised cluttering and clunking. These elements are mixed nicely in with the pulse base, instead of standing on top like some of his other groove based work. Really this feels like the prefect mix of his groove linked releasers and his recent return to analog equipment and his interest in improvised guitar work.
Though certainly this one of the best of the mixed Merz series & will please long term Merz devotees. I would have liked the tracks to last a little longer, the first two are under 10 minutes and the last two just over 15 minute mark. But I guess that’s the problem when he’s trying to build tracks around one pulse or noise grooveRoger Batty