Top Back to Overview
Member-Login
Show only Direct Results
Show All Related Results
Back to Category-Overview
Back to Category-Search

Merzbow

Alias:
Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom
Description: A solo project by Masami AKITA (b. 1956) operating since 1979. A mail art artist, graphic designer, performance artist and composer generally con- sidered the leading representative of art noise, he is also known under a number of other pseudonyms, e.g. PORNOISE, SCUM or ZECKEN. Artisti- cally active since the early 1970s, he was first a drummer with a number of psychedelic rock bands. A few years later while a university student, he became interested in avant-garde art, especially Dadaism, surrealism, and Butoh dance. Inspired by Kurt SCHWITTERS’ Merz, art made of rubbish and useless or discarded objects, he abandoned playing the drums and focused on musical experimentation, making use of broken amplifiers and tape recorders, self-modified synthesizers and multi-effect units, as well as everyday objects and self-made sound installations of metal. His early solo works, dating between 1979 and 1986, relied on formally abstract and deliberately disarrayed electroacoustic collages of spontaneous instru- mental sessions made on tapes. He reached the peak of acclaim between 1986 and 1997, when he managed to develop his own, original style, whose salient feature was a highly intensive cacophony of extremely dissonant, multi-level bruitist textures. His wide set of sound making devices now incorporated increasingly obsolete ring modulators, Theremin, and nume- rous sound filters and processors, which led him to produce an even more expressive and explicit sound. Despite seemingly chaotic and devoid of a reliable arrangement framework the compositions featured remarkably versatile, dynamic and brutal distortions of the natural sound of various acoustic and electronic instruments, or even selected fragments of canonic rock music pieces. In 1997 he began employing digital devices and specialist computer software, which did not, however, have a considerable effect on the aesthetics of his work; it merely made his sound excessively sterile and reduced the quality of his antimusical means of expression. Thematically, his music is concerned with various aspects of contemporary Japanese culture and its increasing westernisation. He makes references to porno- graphy, fetishism, S/M and bondage, all kinds of civilisation endangerments and animal rights campaigns. His live performances, usually static, often involve guest appearance from other artists: in the 1980s and 1990s he was regularly aided by Kiyoshi MIZUTANI, Reiko “REIKO A” AZUMA and Tetsuo “BARA” SAKAIBARA. Recently he has been occasionally working on stage with drummer Bala?zs PA?NDI. AKITA is also a prolific collaborator, he joins his artist friends’ projects, or forms with them new ad-hoc projects, e.g. BUSTMONSTER, SPONGE, MALDOROR, MAZK or MERZ-BANANA. His catalogue also includes soundtracks to films and theatre plays on sadomasochistic fetishism and ritual suicides. An author of over a dozen books, he has written on the tradition of sexual perversions in art and its influence on Japanese society, electronic noise, and the vegetarian lifestyle. From 1979 to 1990 he ran his own music imprint, LOWEST MUSIC & ARTS, renamed ZSF PRODUKT in 1984. Selected discography: Remblandt Assemblage (Lowest Music & Arts 1980) tape Material Action For 2 Microphones (Lowest Music & Arts 1981) tape Tridal Production (Lowest Music & Arts 1982) tape Material Action 2 N·A·M (Chaos 1983) LP Pornoise 1 KG (ZSF Produkt 1984) 5 x tape The Lampinak (ZSF Produkt 1985) tape Antimonument (ZSF Produkt 1986) LP
READ MORE...
3.5