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Merzbow - Dead Leaves [Licht-ung - 2009]

Dead Leaves title may suggest an organic, melancholy and doomy outlook but the three tracks inside are quite the opposite- with each been a great long, jittering and shifting electro noise attacks which are splattered here and there with melodic hints, rhythmic chugs and sonic chops.

First up we have Dead leaves part 1 which slides in with a heat hazed feedback air that is soon swirled and built upon by what sounds like screwed and bent up easy listening and muzak snippets-which have been boiled up and throw into slow phasing and drifting circles of noise. And with-in this collusion and slow simmer of noise is this great repetitive element that sounds like a demented fair ground waltz that surface every so often. At about the midway point a great classic Merz  electro noise chopping tone takes centre stage as Merzbow deepens his noise storm and sends out feedback roars and laser like cuts. It’s a great start to the album and I think stands as my favourite moment here.

Up next is Dead Leaves Part 2 that  starts off full pelt with a bellowing  noise tone under lit by lower clunking tones & bizarrely enough just as the track enters I’m sure I  can  hear what sounds like a melted snippet of Moon River. And again  through out the track one gets the odd hints of melted muzak as Merzbow swirls and shifts his noise storm around you; keeping the bellowing tone that started the track fairly central as noise fragments twist and turn around it. 

Lastly we have Dead Leaves part 3 which starts out with a wow-wow electro noise swirl ‘n’ erratic throb tone; which is showered by static rain, tinny harmonic traces and screaming pitches of feedback. As the track goes on a deep down pounding element takes hold of the base of the track like muffled rock drum beat heard from out side a concert venue. And on top a  shifting mixture of: long screeching trails of higher pitched noise buzzers, with spacey like synth whirls, bent and wonky yet harmonic string chugs, and clattering junk guitar attacks.

All in all another three great, shifting & mind melting tracks of Merzbow’s distinctive take on sound & noise- all housed in a nice glossy full colour fold out four panel Digipak.

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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