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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Merzbow - Mezmorohosis (boxset) [Youth Inc - 2012]

Mezmorohosis is a ten CD box set that offers up a selection of unreleased material from one of the prime & celebrated periods in Merzbow’s length & highly prolific career.  The set focuses in on the years 1995 to 1997, and this is the period of time that we saw such classic & noise genre defining releases such as Pulse Demon, Space Metalizer, and  Green Wheels .

The set was released on Japans Youth Inc. in 2012, and was  a follow up the label pervious Merzbow box set Merzphysics (also from 2012) which focused on unreleased material from the years 1993 to 1995. Both box sets came in a edition of just 200 copies, Merzphysics is now sold out  direct from Merzbow, but you can still get hold of Mezmorohosis- and it’s certainly worth picking up, as while not everything is great here( what box set release is?)- there’s enough quality & worthy material to make this a must have item to anyone who is a fan of this classic period in this Japanese noise legends career.

The set comes in a ten disc clear DVD case, and features a slip cover that takes in a close-up & inversed picture of a chicken.  The inside sleeve takes in on its front cover a colour picture of a group turkeys, and  it’s reverse we get colourful psychedelic collage artwork. Each of the ten discs features different colourful psychedelic collage artwork, and all in all it’s a nice looking set- I guess the only thing missing is a booklet discussing the period, and where each track originates from…but that’s a minor quibble.

Length  wise  the tracks featured  here move between 10 & 44 minute running time, with the whole release featuring  25 tracks in all with a total running time of 540:07 minutes(nine hours).  All the tracks here see the introduction EMS synthesizer, and are a collection of electro-psychedelic noise  jams,  that have a filter or techno-like resonance.

I won’t go onto review each & ever one of the twenty five tracks here-  instead I'll cover a few of  my favourite moments so you have a idea of what to expect.
"4 April ’95" takes up the whole of the box sets second disc with a running time of  just over forty four minutes. The track opens up in a great sear yet  atmospheric manner as it brings together a higher pitched feed back tone that’s has an harmonic almost wonky mysterious eastern feel to it, simmering ‘n’ sinister synth  hover, and swirls of seared noise haze. As the track progresses, the eastern  feed back elements disappears and we move into  classic Merz  noise synth/ noise territory with undulating, shifting yet thick sonic seas of chopping, swirling, and spiralling synth matter, which is weaved with forking noise elements, and smaller junk metal detail/ subtle rhythmic detail-  simple put it’s a great lengthy noise jam, that shifts through some really rewarding moments.
Disc fours "Variation for P.D.1" & "Variation for P.D.2"( I’m guessing that PD is Pulse Demon)- these two 17 to 18 minute tracks are from 1995, and find rewarding examples of more extreme electronica meets noise tracks with shifting loops of chopping ( at times  rhythmic) synth craft backdrops,  which are soared, seared & roasted by forking ‘n’ spiralling  lines of noise tones.
Disc seven’s  "Rhythm" from 1997 is a thirty three minute track which is a great example of  rather moody & psychedelic noise matter jamming- with often deep ‘n’ looped chopping synth tone curls  that are spiralled with eerier harmonic sub-tone detail,  spacey noise stretches/ wails, and sudden darting backdrops in & out of  more locked down rhythmic elements- simply put it’s a masterful track.
Disc eights "1997 Techno", which is a thirty four minute excursion into overloaded sonic denseness with meaty ‘n’ slicing banks  of synth craft that meet searing, caustically soaring, and baying noise pitch attacks-  the track real fits it’s with it’s a overloaded, dense & melted take on techno music.
Disc nines fourth track "No. 0104" from the year 1996- this is  a just over ten minute track is built around more stretched out, slurred & moody set of  spiralling ‘n’ chopping synth pluses.


All in all this a must have item if you are a fan of this classic & highly influential period in Merzbow’s career.  As mention before this can still be brought( though there are only a few copies left) direct from Merzbow- so head over here if you want to pick up a copy now, before there all gone!.

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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