Slowdown Records has released a new album by Merzbow. This is his solo release on the label (excluding the archive series) since 2019's "Kaerutope" and "Indigo Dada", and once again, two works, "Sparrow Color 1" and "Sparrow Color 2", will be released simultaneously. In recent years, Merzbow has been actively collaborating with others, and has also been attracting attention with his archive works and reissues of past masterpieces (including unreleased material). One of the main features of the two new releases is that the synthesizers (EMS SYNTHI 'A', Moog Mother 32, Behringer Model D) are controlled by a keyboard (Korg Monologue). In Merzbow's work, Synthesizers were frequently used in the 1990s, but it was rare for them to be fitted with a keyboard and played through a MIDI grid, and this is the first recording in which this performance method is used to any great extent. The title "Sparrow Color" came to Mr. Akita when he was thinking about dusk. The artwork features the silver grass of Mukojima Hyakkaen in the background and the sparrows of Ueno Shinobazu Pond in the foreground.
In this album, "Sparrow Color 1", we can hear the presence of metal or junk music, which is one of the typical performance techniques used by Merzbow, but electronic sounds have a stronger presence. There are also a lot of sounds with a clear pitch (as opposed to the so-called white noise), which may be due to the use of keys. However, the manipulation of pitch by the keyboard does not take the form of memorable phrases or sequences in this work, but is expressed as improvisational and chaotic ups and downs of frequency peaks. As a result, the overall impression of the performance is more like a complex electronic improvisation, with multiple unevenly moving lines running up and down and intertwining, rather than a massive noise sound. Considering the fact that Merzbow has been working with a variety of artists of different musical styles in recent years in a setting that mainly uses analog equipment, the introduction of the keyboard may be seen as feedback from the various instrumentalists he has encountered, but the abstraction of the sound, which is not diminished by the fixed MIDI grid, shows Merzbow's unshakable individuality as a performer.
yorosz (aka Shuta Hiraki)
released June 25, 2021
All Music Composed, Mixed, Performed by Masami Akita
Recorded & mixed at Munemihouse, Tokyo 2019.
Mastered at Kentaro Hayashi, Osaka, Japan.
Yasuyuki Nakamura (slowdown records) : A&R
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