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Go to the Merzbow website  Merzbow - Minazo Vol 1 [Important Records - 2006]

Minazo Vol 1 finds Merzbow in a more contemplative, sad and haunting mood, than usual. He mangers to coax out some breathing taking beautiful sound swirls, from his noise tapestry, possible some of the most emotional sounds, heís  ever created.

I know one would not normal think of beautiful and emotional music connected with Merzbow. But there is something very wonderfully, sad about his use of sound here, he stretches out epic, almost ambient like soundscapes from his noise, with more than a hint of seal like sound and a aquatic vibe ,to the proceedings. It all clearly brings to mind the sadness of Minazo having to perform for people and his dreams of been able to swim in the open sea. On offer here are four untitled tracks, lasting towards twenty minutes each. He seems to be using seal sounds, along with what could be modified guitar to create the dense sad stretches of watery sound; also it seems heís using analogue equipment again, which he has returned to recently, but I suspected mixed with digital sound. Not really any beats appearing here, this is just more soundscapes and electronic pluses, sure there are rhythmic elements, but there not the main focus. But please donít get me wrong this is still very much noise, itís not ambient, Merzbow hasnít gone soft on us, itís just a more emotional take on noise and a tribute to a friends life.

One of the highlights of Merzbow, recent material and a real stand out item in his growing, mammoth discography. A really captivating and mournful work, that really makes one ponder about the captivity of animals, and what we as humans are doing to them. You can hear sound samples here and of course buy direct, but really the sound samples donít do it justice you need to hear the full release to full appreciate, itís sad grandeur .

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

Roger Batty
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