Merzbow - Konchuuki [Essence Music - 2015]From late summer 2015 here’s Konchuuki- an album of new material from one of the noise scenes most renowned & respected names. The release comes in the form of a CD, which offers up four tracks & just less than sixty five minutes of play time. The release title means ‘insect machine’, and the theme of the release is the study of insects.
Before we get into the sonic nuts & bolts of this release, we must discuss the packaging it’s self, as I must say it’s one of the more arty & cleverly designed releases I’ve seen this year. The CD comes in a mini gatefold that on it’s outside features a detailed colour painting of various insect; but the real surprise comes when you go to open up the gatefold as in the middle is a card pop-up of a moth. There was also a ltd edition version of the release(which has now sold out)- this featured the gatefold inside a handmade/ hand drawn box adorned with more insects illustrations, and a second CDR with two bonus tracks.
The four tracks here I guess can best be described as Merzbow in an 'electronica meets psychedelic noise' setting. With each track focusing in on a few set rhythmic electronic pluses or textures, to which Merzbow adds on shifting layers of forking, laser-like, or sustained searing noise craft. Running time wise the tracks are between ten & twenty minutes a piece. And while none of these tracks really cover any new or fresh ground for the project; each twist & turn in fairly eventful & rewarding. I can’t really say any one track stood out here for me, but each is satisfying enough in it’s own right with enough worthy shifts along each of their lengths.
So in summing if you enjoy Merzbow, when he’s in a more set electronica meets seared psychedelic noise texturing setting, you’ll certainly find Konchuuki enjoyable enough. And the classy package really adds to the release too…so this is certainly worth picking in a physical form.Roger Batty