Merzbow & John Wiese "Multiplication" CD
An impressive display of both incredible composition and furious power from noise masterminds Masami Akita and John Wiese. Having both released significant work on Misanthropic Agenda, we are very proud to offer their premier collaborative album! Akita and Wiese pull no punches. No beats, no prog, no techno -- just pure delivery and satisfaction of electronic extremes.
This CD is a must get/great addition/solid release, etc... for any John Wiese or Merzbow fan. It is a great collaboration that showcases the diverse (and at times similar) styles, sounds, and approaches of these two artists. I personally prefer the tracks produced by John Wiese (Tracks 1-5) ove the one produced by Merzbow (Track 6). Wiese seems more in control of his tracks. He mixes it up more by utilizing a greater range of sounds/textures/paces (from harsh to subtle) and styles (cut up, slow ambient build, and pure powerful outbursts) Wiese's style is the closest to sounding like the "Analog Merzbow" days, with more focus on the harsher/harder sounds (in general) than the usual laptop Merzbow. The filter sweeps and hard crunch of the old days are back, as well as the mixed and densely layered sounds which keeps with Wiese's solo composition/style along with the faster paced changes/cuts. The Merzbow produced track seems more like his earlier laptop compositions; one long track that slowly evolves (though some abrupt changes cut through this 24 minute piece) through styles and sounds, preferring to deal with one focus (a loop or texture) with sparse mixing/layering. The first two tracks (Bonaza/Luxor Skyship) are the harshest of the bunch. Crunch and filter sweeps that call back to the older Merzbow days (think 90's Merzbow Harshhead Era). Thick synth, crunch and distortion are the brunt of the attack this isn't a flat, one dimensional release. Harsh noise that's forceful, pronounced, interesting, and moving that sweeps through frequency ranges and style with brief pauses to let the listener breath briefly. (though New Wave Dust does come close to this level later on in the CD). Both tracks show a diversity and composition (read more like direction) that puts this in a much different place than a straight forward noise track. Spells (Track 3) starts on a calmer note. The single loop base that mixes in with other sounds and loops, slowly building off the one idea and then returning back to its base. The track flows in and out of rushes of sound. Wall of white noise, back into an ambient, sparse feel that can again grown into a dense mass. It does not reach the density or the harshness of the previous track but there is more than enough to keep an analog Merzbow fan happy. New Wave Dust 2 (Track 4) plunges the listener back into the harshness of the first two tracks. The variety of sounds used make it less forceful than the early tracks but more diverse. Pounding synth, processed metal, and feedback are pressed between loops and dense sharp walls of digital noise. They are then cut and slapped around by these two artists.It settles in briefly for some quieter moments before quickly jumping back into the loops and cut-ups. Erotic Westernscape (track 5) goes back again to more of the laptop syles of a lot of Akita's works, once again mixed in with the ambient John Wiese work from his solo CDs. Softer sounds and loops form a base processed with delay and reverb to fill out the sounds. This is the most "musical" track on the CD, harmonics (almost harmonies) float in and out of the spray of white noise and all this builds to a dense climax right at the end of the track. Multiplication (Track 6) rounds out the entire CD. A calmer mix of sounds, that seems like a collection of shorter pieces woven together. This is a lot like some of Merzbow's earlier work (as I stated before) it kind of reminds me of a Bazoutai but a digital version, crunching and processing a variety of sounds together into one long track. To me there is a better overall balance and cohesion in the Wiese produced (and by produced I am taking that to mean constructed or finalized) tracks. The heaviness, thickness, mixing, power, etc. that I felt was missing from many of the Merzbow laptop releases is presented here mixed in with the days of laptop white noise, and processing. To sum up: this is a very diverse album I think Merzbow benefits more from working with John Wiese. The collaboration brings some of the best elements from Merzbow's analog days together with the best elements of the laptop. This is how I think a good Merzbow album should sound.