MERZBOW (Masami Akita to a mum) is a man of simple tastes. Having put his name to hundreds of slabs of white noise and collaborations with the likes of SUNN O))) and BORIS, nothing seems to make him happier thanpushing the boundaries of music with with a migraine inducing approach to avante-garde. His music doesn't allow indecision, you'll either love it or hate it and one gets the feeling that he wouldn't have it any other way. This time around, he has company with able assistance from Mats Gustaffson and Balázs Pandi, neither of who are strangers to collaborations with Pandi having lent his considerable drumming talent to jazzcore maniacs, ZU as well as VENETIAN SNARES, BONG-RA and many more while Gustaffson is bestknown as the saxophonist in THE THING amongst others. At this stage in each of their careers , you'll know what to expect from them but this collaborative effort adds a different dynamic to them making it a worthwhile addition to any fan's collection.
It's hard to think of any other artists that sound remotely like MERZBOW but as a vague reference point imagine, if you will, an insane concoction of SHINING's blackjazz, JOHN ZORN's avante garde grind outfit NAKED CITY, the sci-fi soundtracks of the BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP and Akita's countrymen,BOREDOMS. Mats Gustaffson's saxophone shrieks discordantly over MERZBOW's inpenetrable walls of noise while Balázs Pandi keeps a vague semblance of control with his remarkably skilled free jazz drumming which erratically jolts along while still maintaining the restraint which the other two thirds of the trio lack. Not that this is a negative, while Akita and Gustaffson seem to be in all out war with each other, there are still plenty of subtleties in the ebb and flow of the five tracks here to warrant repeated listens. Over its 72 minute running time, "Cuts" manages to be both subtle and divisive as alway on this mtach mad in avante-garde/ noise heaven. If there's one (minor) gripe with "Cuts" it's that the constant noise doesn't always allow Mats Gustaffson's saxophone enough space to truly shine but, otherwise, the album is every bit as mental as you would expect and all the better for it. This is a brilliant addition to any MERZBOW fan's collection to be filed next to "Maldoror" and "Pulse Demon as a definite high point. If you don't come out with a thumping headache, you're not listening loud enough! (7/10)
"Cuts" is out now through RareNoise