Merzbow - Here [L.White Records - 2008]The power station picture on the front cover of Here is very apt for the three tracks that appear With-in, as they are all in places touched with the feeling of powering up and building electronic tension and textures.
Following on from Merbow’s recent forays it to more subdued and building improvised guitar elements Here focus in on a more textured and almost ambient feel to the tracks, sure it’s still searing and noisy- but instead of sonically slashing and branding his craft Merzbow is add in smaller sonic details and sound strokes. Take the opener and title track with its 20 minute sound mass that’s built on a constant throbbing feedback like fog. Merzbow to starts adding in subtle elements to start with, then later makes them more pressing and devastating, as the back ground roar grows. Elements such as strokes of screaming guitar with an Arabic or surf quality about them, wavering phraser like tones, pockets of clattering rumble, buried drones, expansive yet blurred vistas of guitar atmospherics, muffled voice tones. Through out he skilfully keeps the sound nicely open with an almost 3D feel to it.
Torikabuto is the second track and another just over 20 minute track, once more users it feedback fog at its base- but feels a lot more open and expansive as Merzbow adds on clear guitar improvised guitar picks and clatters. But following the tread of the first track slowly but surely it powers up and becomes more dense, but never fully losing this almost 3D open feeling.
Lastly we have the baby of the bunch Pigeon Car at a short 8 minutes. This again users a sound fog of feedback – but is much more active and powered up from it’s outset- roaring into your ears with the power of a storm, or bending and twisting often high pitched pinchers of sound.
Another step and another chapter in Merzbow's sound development that will certainly appeal and reward fans of his more recent brutal yet at times subtle and textured sonic sound washers.Roger Batty