The Merzbow Archive series by Slowdown Records, which has released six editions so far, enters its seventh edition. This edition consists of six albums of unearthed material from 1996 to 1998. A lot of unreleased material from 1996~97 was previously included in the 10 CD box "Merzmorphosis" (Youth Inc., 2012). However, they did not include material related to "1930" (Tzadik) and "Tauromachine" (Relapse / Release), which were produced during this period.
This is the first time for the material of this work "Cat Of Shell Vol.1" to be released, as it seems to be related to "1930" for a certain reason (to be explained later).
"Cat Of Shell Vol.1" was recorded in 1996, and was originally intended for release under the same title, but had never been released. According to the information provided by Mr. Akita on the occasion of the release, the DAT index of the master of this album has titled "Cat Of Shell" and "1930" on it, so it is assumed that this is a material related to the album "1930" released later, but the details have not been confirmed yet. The final mix of "1930" was done on December 24, 1997, and the sound source is completely different from this album, but since the mix of "1930" was done by running existing tapes through Polyphaze of Electro-Harmonix, it is possible that it was used as part of the material.
The content of this album was recorded at a time when synthesizer sounds were coming to the fore, so the dense noise sounds are the first major feature of this album. The repetitive sounds that continue to play in a clever, ear-catching balance suggest techno influences, but the second and third tracks, you can hear cracked sounds reminiscent of the time when they mainly used metal pronunciation, and the sonic depth at the end of the album when all of these sounds come together is tremendous.
At the time, Akita was also obsessed with modern architecture (mainly the reconstruction of Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake), and many of the artworks released during this period featured photographs of these buildings, which became an essential visual element of his work. For this reason, the artwork for this edition also uses photographs of buildings and other structures taken by Akita around 1998. The photo for this "Cat Of Shell Vol. 1", like "1930", is of a lighting fixture at Isetan Shinjuku.
yorosz(aka Shuta Hiraki)
released October 25, 2021
All Music by Masami Akita
Recorded & mixed at ZSF Produkt 1996.
Remastered at Munemihouse, Tokyo 2019.
Mastered at Kentaro Hayashi, Osaka, Japan.
Yasuyuki Nakamura (slowdown records) : A&R
supported by 5 fans who also own “Cat Of Shell Vol.1”
Easily one of my favourite Merzbow records and one of my favourite noise records in general. Expertly crafted and blisteringly hot sonically, it's definitely not one to miss. heckicus_doomicus_wizardus
Culled from unreleased recordings from her recent "Light Sleep" and "Voice Hardcore" releases, Hiromi Moritani's latest showcases the softer, less harrowing side of Phew’s sound Bandcamp Album of the Day Sep 2, 2020