Saturday, February 6, 2010

1930 - (1998)

There's a wider variety of unexpected sounds than those normally heard in a Merzbow listening session in this sonic inundation. Unguessed-at dimensions are accessed through 1930 via sensory overload of oscillations, infinitely layered static, frequencies from pitch to buzz — an explosion could get lost in this, and many do. It is the sounds of tuning in the radio, only to catch the low-end frequencies of an earthquake. Music has long explored — and exploited — its ties to emotions; the genre of noise, it seems, has moved on to exploring sound's physical effects. Merzbow, the leader of Japanese noise, has learned how to use sound to operate on your brain; he utilizes indiscernible frequencies to poke pinholes in your eardrums and bleed out your preconceived notions of sound, music, and how they can affect you. This listening experience is not simply a result of sheer volume (Merzbow is generally listened to very loudly): Even while turned down low, the sounds all combine into an irresistible force that messes with your physical being. It will scramble your brain, until consciousness barely registers anything but sound.

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