Merzbow - Peace For Animals [Quasi Pop - 2007]Peace for animals sees Merzbow yet again pushing his sound every onwards and upwards- revisiting old elements with clever and inventive vigour, along with new and recent elements to make a highly rewarding album.
Over the three tracks on offer here he covers a lot of textural and different ground, even with-in tracks showing he still has the elements of surprise and sound invention on his side. Old elements such as manipulated animal sounds, stretched and bent music samples, analogue electronics, ritual like percussion are revisited. Mixed with recent and new elements such as improvised often quite memorable guitar clattering, organic drum elements, melodic retro 70’s synth throbs, eerier drone textures, weird chanted voice elements and more.
We have two short tracks around 15 minute mark each and one lengthy track over half an hour. The first track Raging Chaos is rather fittingly named as it jumps about all over the place in it’s 15 minutes life, but this controlled chaos with every element placed with maximum sonic effect. The tracks starts it’s invigorating ride with a classic looped/ throbbing Merzbow electro pulse and guitar element, before he goes off investigating all manner of old and new sound. The second track September is a little more subdued open and spaced out, with a great feeling of sound layers and dimensions to the sound. With improvised and clattering gitar elements taking on a distinctive oriental themes here and there between audio singers, he ebbs and swirls them with low and often ambient sound textures. Lastly we have a really treat for Merz worshipers a long form track entitled No more exploitation which is 33 minutes of sonic terror, glory and beauty. Starting out with strange shifting and grainy rhythmic elements and surprising/ eerier almost 80’s sounding synth/ choir elements before sending you off on a classic, varied and often very atmospheric noise ride. With more eerier/edgy synth's and bent musical moments surfacing here and there along the way.
A very fulfilling meeting of the old and new that stands as one of his more varied sound rides this year & yet another highlight in a career full of them.Roger Batty