Merzbow - Hanakisasage [Old Captain - 2016]Hanakisasage is another recent addition to this Japanese noise legend truly huge discography. The release comes in the form of a CD, and offers up two length slices of dense & shifting noise craft that brings together elements psychedelic & roasting electronics, layers of squalling & searing harsh noise, and often a feeling of lose jam based composition.
This release appears on Ukraine based noise & post industrial label Old Captain. The CD comes in a glossy four panel digipak, which takes pictures of trees, and layered tree foliage type montage. The release apparently takes its name from rare tree, that can only be found in a few areas in Japan. The CD comes in an edition of 300 copies.
First up we have the title track, which is the longest work here at just over the thirty four minute affair. The tracks an extremely thick, swirling & morphing layer affair that brings together: simmering-yet-droned-out synth & electronic scapes. Stretching & pulsing noise textures. Scrubbing & searing Merz-guitar drifts, and the odd hint at slight more harmonic & moody electro trails. There is really no rhythmic base or fixed repetitive element at play though-out, though elements do reappear. I guess you’d say it’s Merzbow in a more jam like setting. On the whole, as latter day Merzbow goes it’s not too bad, and it managed to keep my attention held though-out.
The second track is entitled “Kakapo 2”, and this comes in at the 20.41 minute mark. The track shares its name with another recent Merzbow release, Kakapo a vinyl release from last year on Oaken Palace Records , which offered up two linked more harsh jam & drone based tracks. “Kakapo 2” doesn’t sound much like the two tracks on it’s namesake album really. Going instead for a blend of pulsing ‘n’ throbbing electro rhythmic base, that Merzbow adds on layers of screaming, shredding & baying noise on top. As well as more chopping percussive type layers. The tracks a fairly typical example of more repetitive based Merz-composition. Though the pulsing & throbbing element has quite a nice brooding feel about it, and he shifting noise elements he adds on top keeps ones attention nicely.
In conclusion Hanakisasage is a passable enough Merzbow release- with the first track offering a more dense & jam based noise work. And the second more pulsing/ rhythmic based meets shifting noise layer type composition. Roger Batty