Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 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 - Escape Mask [Other Voices Records - 2017]

Escape Mask, either in CD or Vinyl format, is a rather intriguing & sonically unexpected reissue of a very early Merzbow release. It sees the noise legend offering up four tracks that blend together psychedelic ‘n’ spiralling guitar/ violin scaping, electro drum beats, industrial textures, the odd sample, & even buried vocals. But the most interesting & surprising thing here is a lot of the tracks have often fairly harmonic moments, as well as periods of almost groove like dwells.

This four track album was recorded back in 1983, and originally released on cassette by Merzbow’s own label ZSF Products. The album got a digital remix in 2012, and here in 2017 we get a much deserved reissue of this most distinctive, and rather different of Merz albums. I’m reviewing the CD version of the album, and this comes in a glossy four panel digital- which looks arty enough, though is rather sparse on details.   Numbers wise the editions are 300 for the CD and 150 for the vinyl…and I can’t imagine these hanging around too long.


Each of the four  tracks runs between eight & nearing fifteen minutes. And they are simply titled Escape Mask I- IV. "Part I" starts in fairly expected early Merz fashion with a clamouring ‘n’ melting blend atonal guitar sourness, sampled breathing, and lo-fi noise haze. But just when you think it’s going to go where you expect, this roughly thumbed-yet-tuneful punk like strumming comes into place, as the scrubbing guitar elements, violin saws, ect sail around. Fairly soon the track shifts off from said guitar element, & we move into to this erratically jittering, wonky grooving electro beat, which is surrounded by swarming ’n’ baying violin & guitar strings.

Over the remaining three tracks we get this blend of expected early Merz(i.e. scrubbing atonal guitars, screeching violin sails, haphazard noise elements, and floating radio/etc samples). With often hazard grooving blends of wonky electro beats, throbbing & harmonic guitar lines, and a keen sense of fun.  And that’s the big thing about this release Fun- yes it’s still sits squarely in the noise/ industrial genre, but it feels so playful & often buoyant in it’s all over feel.

All in all Escape Mask is a really intriguing & worthy part of Merzbow’s truly huge discography-clearly signposting to early 2000’s albums like Merzbeat, but with a more haphazard & fun feel. As I mentioned early the release (over both CD & vinyl) has an edition of just 450 copies- so I advise fairly quick action, if you want to score a copy of this distinctive & this fairly unique of Merzbow releases.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Latest Reviews

Merzbow - Escape Mask
Escape Mask, either in CD or Vinyl format, is a rather intriguing & sonically unexpected reissue of a very early Merzbow release. It sees the n...
261021   Geins't Naït - GN
261021   The Residents - Morning Music
261021   Peking Crash Team / Calf Pull...
251021   Earl Klugh - Earl Klugh/Livi...
251021   Midnight - Midnight(Blu Ray)
251021   Placenta Lyposuction/Rapace -...
231021   Fergus Kelly - Plate Spinning
221021   The Singing Ringing Tree - Th...
211021   Allerseelen - Morgenröte
211021   Rudolf Eb.er - NECRO ORGIA
Latest Articles

Himukalt - Tense & unwell psychos...
Himukalt is a female-fronted,necro-fed and often uneasily psychosexual venture that blends elements of old school industrial, noise, and searing ‘n&rsq...
261021   Himukalt - Tense & unwell psy...
280921   SRS Cinema - Purveyors of gor...
070921   Tine Surel Lange - A Great E...
170821   theNightproduct - Walled Nois...
210721   Martyn Bates / Kodax Strophes...
150621   David Gregory - In The Land O...
270521   Root Cellar, Monolithic Torme...
120521   Patrick Picard - Geek-bound...
150421   Dosis Letalis - Walled Noise ...
170321   Shatraug - Into the Finnish B...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom