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Merzbow - Dolphin Sonar [Important Records - 2008]

Dolphin Sonar sees Merzbow returning with another animal rights protest album this time it's against the horrific and appalling annual slaughter of  2’500 dolphins in Taiji Japan. With Merzbow offering up three searing yet inventive tracks of pulsing electro and guitar noise mayhem, that flits with rhythmic elements and musically touches.

The album has one of my favourite Merzbow covers of his discography with great coloured drawing of Merzbow at his laptop surrounded by dolphins. There’s also inside a very impassioned text by Fonder of Greenpeace and sea Shepard Paul Winston who  talks about what wonderful and Special creatures Dolphins are. So on to the music  & first up we have Dolphin Sonar part 1 which starts off with a coarse mix of deep revolving pulsing electronics and grating like shards of guitar elements, which Merzbow boils up into a whirlwind that rips around your head. As the track progresses the original revolving pulse stays present most of the time, but with new guitar and noise tones being  added in- like a great amped up and overloaded wow-wow peddle loops, or angered and atmospheric electro throbs and towards the end great clattering rhythmic rain on tin roof textures and shorting riff like chugs. The track lasts just over twenty four minutes and is a great straight for the throat opener. Next up we have Dolphin Sonar part 2 which starts off sounding quite intense and brooding with a piercing feedback ring before your thrown into clattering sea of improv guitar elements & roaring noise tone that have quite an aquatic and panic feel about them, which brings to mind the poor dolphins been chased in the sea. At around the 15 minute mark of this 20 minute track a nice chopping electro tone is added undernether as Merzbow singers you with perching noise tone.

Lastly we have Dolphin Sonar part 3 which starts off with chopping and violent static electro hits which are screamed and whaled over in a pained manner that  rather brought to mind what a group of panic dolphins might sound like under attack. There's an alarm tone running in and out of the mix really heightening the feel of panic and fear. Though-out this track & with-in the noise matter you can hear the surfacing of quite haunted and felt harmonic trails of sound that going from drone like, to pulsing onto almost oriental like string type picking- all which rather brought to mind the emotional feeling of 06 Minazo Vol 1 album.

With Dolphin Sonar Merzbow offers up a searing and angered yet often emotional torched three piece suite of noise art which through-out is twists 'n' turns in an rewarding and shifting manner.

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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