Master of Noise.
For over 20 years Masami Akita aka Merzbow, experiments, smashes, or restructures our acquisitions on what is harmony or not. Notions such as noise, saturation, and silence often perceived by us, humble mortals, as limits are for the beginning of his work. Merzbow’s tracks are liberated, subtle and nuanced industrial machines, earthquakes and reconstructions of the sound biotope. They are extreme trips in the world of sound where numerous visits would be essential to fully appreciate his art.
This undisputed icon of the industrial scene has toured many times all over Europe, the States, and Russia. This way of offering his work in all the continents has helped set his reputation as Master of Noise, even if he denies it.
His discography is abundant with over 200 references on every imaginable type of support with numerous labels (Tzadik, Release, YB70, DHR...), and all kinds of full-on collaborations (Massona, Alec Empire, Pan Sonic, Scanner...).
A multidisciplinary artist (graphic arts, books, music for films), he published a book in 2005 “Cruelty for life”, an attempt to educate the Japanese on animal rights and on vegans. These two topics are completely ignored in Japan, apparently!
At the Palais de Tokyo, Mezbow had no problems to convince us that he is THE electronic precursor beyond his reputation.
In a noise/industrial gig people wonder: “My ears are going to start bleeding, I’m going to faint, to have the vapours…” However the organisers very kindly thought about everything and earplugs were distributed at the entrance!
After a first good old set of K-oZ (YB70), the experience in the room is complete: physical – better than a roller coaster – and auditory, a radical education from our often too polished sound environment. Merzbow deals with and finely masters sounds frequencies. He awakes, disturbs, and interrogates our senses… However it’s never done in a nasty way!
On the night of his gig, his atypical and introverted character gave us the surprise ofa small “after”, the effect of the Parisian summer maybe?
Merzbow is an artist to savour for those who already know him, to discover and experiment for the most adventurous amongst us.
Merzbow – Express interview :
JIM NASTIK : Are you satisfied with your set?
For the sound… Well an amplifier broke down so the audience didn’t get to listen to the whole range of low and high frequencies… that a frequent problem with low frequencies. It’s a pity because those amplifiers (Marshall) are very good with low frequencies.
JN: Is your work perceived the same way in Europe and in Asia?
M: The perception is about the same. My work may be better understood in Europe. Sometimes on the Internet, I read really stupid things written about me by Japanese people.
JN : What fascinates you?
M : Animals!
Marc Alizart, Jerk45
Report Sabine Morandini
Merzbow Live Palais de Tokyo - Paris
Palais de Tokyo
site de création contemporaine.
13, avenue du Président Wilson