Noise music emerged as a distinct genre in the late 20th century, influenced by various experimental movements, such as Futurism, Dadaism, and the Fluxus movement. Artists and musicians began to reject the traditional notions of music and sought to challenge the established norms and expectations of the medium. Merzbow is the moniker of Japanese artist Masami Akita inspired by dadaism and surrealism. Akita took the name for his project from German artist Kurt Schwitters’s pre-war architectural assemblage The Cathedral of Erotic Misery or Merzbau. Working in his home, he quickly gained notoriety as a purveyor of a musical genre composed solely of pure, unadulterated noise. Embracing technology and the machine, first in an absolutely analog way and then welcoming digital innovation, Merzbow broke boundaries and pushed toward new territories of the extreme, arriving at a sonic space of uncontaminated, straight noise that, from its base in Tokyo, has continued, now for over 40 years, to set the pace for the entire genre of noise.
During the mid-1990s, the Japanese artist went through his most prolific and inspired period of the analog era, releasing masterpieces such as Noisembryo, Venereology, Hybrid Noisebloom or Green Wheels. In that same period, one of his notable and iconic releases, Space Metalizer, released in 1997 under the Canadian label Alien8 Recordings on CD, stands as a testament to his ability to create immersive and mind-altering soundscapes. This album takes listeners on an otherworldly journey, fusing electro-psychedelic noise, EMS Synthesizer, filter and electronics with techno oriented resonance into a unique sonic experience.
Opening with a surge of swirling noise and cosmic echoes, Space Metalizer pt.1 immediately establishes a sense of vastness and otherworldliness. Merzbow masterfully combines layers of distorted metallic sounds, oscillating frequencies, and disorienting textures, creating an immersive soundscape that feels like traversing the depths of the universe. The intensity builds gradually, capturing the listener’s attention and propelling them into a sonic voyage. Closes the A-side of the first record of the vinyl reissue Mirage a sonic exploration of interstellar phenomena in non silent way. This track features a swirling combination of celestial textures, shimmering frequencies, and cosmic bursts of noise. The B-side, that include the bonus track Spaceout introduces a more pronounced metallic element, intertwining with the dense layers of noise, filtered with techno resonance. Merzbow’s intricate use of metallic samples and distorted textures creates an industrial, almost mechanical, atmosphere with an interspatial rhythmic patterning. The tracks on second vinyl pulsates with a relentless energy, akin to the cosmic machinery of the universe. The cacophonous climax leaves a lasting impact, cementing Space Metalizer pt.2 as a standout moment on the album.
Through a combination of cosmic atmospheres, metallic elements, the use of the EMS shynti, the Theremin and the filters, Merzbow takes listeners on a transcendent journey through the depths of space.