"Merzbient" was originally released in 2010 as a box set of twelve compact discs. The edition of 555 numbered copies sold out within weeks of its release and hailed by fans as some of Merzbow's best work. Now an expanded edition of 18 albums is being released in an edition of 222 numbered and signed copies. The music from the original CD release is presented on albums 1 to 15. Albums 16, 17 and 18 contain exclusive bonus material never released until today.
This vinyl release of "Merzbient" is presented in lavish packaging, starting with a pair of custom-made foil-blocked boxes that look like large versions of the boxes made for the original CD edition. Each box holds nine LPs. Each record has full-color center labels, and comes in a full-color sleeve. Three inserts printed on textured paper complete the package. The records in the first 44 sets are pressed on translucent dark red vinyl. The remaining 178 copies are pressed in black vinyl.
"Merzbient" is a collection of Merzbow's previously unreleased ambient recordings recorded in the late '80s and early '90s, at a time when Masami Akita (Merzbow) was becoming famous for his live performances. The records he released at the time mirrored the harsh electronic wall-of-sound style that characterized his performances and helped establish his reputation as the prime mover in the Japanese noise scene. The electronics he used for his recordings were the same ones he used for live shows. But at the same time he was also recording quieter, more atmospheric music at home, and using a wide variety of acoustic instruments including an impractical monstrosity he describes as a "big handmade junk instrument made from a metal box with piano wires", which he played with a violin bow. He made hours and hours of recordings, but kept them private and never released them, until eventually they were set aside and forgotten. After rediscovering them years later he remastered the music and named the collection "Merzbient".
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you are a Merzbow fan, I highly recommend getting hold of this box. Like most every other Merzbow fan, there are probably periods and different recording techniques that you prefer. I like the majority of his work, but there have been a few albums that I just flat out didn't like. This set is a really amazing example of what Masami Akita can get up to when he decides to "go unplugged." One instrument is a box with piano strings that he plays with a bow, and it's a jarring sound. Other parts of tracks sound like wind chimes from Pluto or something. And, as each track is a healthy length, you get more variation than you do in some of his more relentless tracks (such as Ouroboros, another excellent release). The reviewer above is right, get it now for relatively cheap (beautiful box with ornate artwork, beautiful photography and two collage pictures, 12 discs of Merzbient music), or pay a lot later on.
I have a pile of Merzbow releases, some are amazing some are pure garbage but this one is one of his top 5. During his analogue hey-day in the late 90's when he was really coming into his own style and blasting the wax out of everyone's eardrums he kept a side project going of.. well.. "ambient" recordings. Ambient is not quite what these are cause they are still Merzbow but they are much more subtle than a lot of his smash- your- face- in- wall of noise CD's. Each one of these 12 CD's has more twists and turns and complex freaky goings on than half his collection and on a slightly lower key to make it easier to listen to as "ambient" in like living in a well insulated house next to an auto-body shop. This box set is truly superb. Comes with a cool cover limited edition of 300 and a metal plaque. If I was to compare this to anything it would be a less acidic versions of his S/M soundtracks or Acid Mothers Temple box set "The Penultimate Galactic Bordello Also the World You Made" album...
For anyone looking to get this set, I have two blocks of text to give you....
"Merzbow" and "Algunos Discos"
Use the internet and your brain. Go.
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