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RECORD – Merzbow: Yahatahachiman

by François Zappa

What a great surprise to see that Other Voices Records has reissued on CD Yahatahachiman, originally released in 1983 by the Japanese artist Merzbow, one of the pioneers of noise music. 1983 was a very busy year for Masami Akita (who worked with Kiyoshi Mizutani until 1989). He released Material Action 2 N.A.M., the Dying Mapa trilogy and Mechanization Takes Command among many others. Yahatahachiman contains five tracks, one of them of more than 20 minutes, representative of the early period of the Japanese artist, before he started being interested in Death Metal and Grindcore. It’s a very unusual album in the discography of the noise master and he never really liked it because it had too many guitars and synths for his taste. This remastered version was published before as an LP, included in the Lowest Music and Arts 1980–1983 box and originally as a cassette released on Merzbow own label ZSF Produkt.

Merzbow is one of the most personal and prolific musicians of the last decades. He has recorded more than three hundred records and worked with artists like Wolf Eyes, Alessandro Cortini, Boris, Richard Pinhas, Thurston Moore or Jim O’Rourke. His live performances are a real challenge for the senses as I could experience during his concert in Milan.

The present release is a perfect way to get initiated in the world of this creator of extreme music. It’s going to be a limited edition of 200 copies (or 199, after I got mine) and will be available also in digital download.

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