I thought I would be able to handle it. I've listened to some of the most extremely a-musical music there is. I've seen Melt Banana live. I've dug Negativland's most fractured audio collages. I've listened to the off-tune warblings of The Shaggs, and the avant-weirdness of The Residents. I even listend to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music in its entireity. Furthermore, I've loved them all. Yet, I was completely unprepared for the audio assault that is Merzbow's 1930.
I guarantee, 1930 is like no album you have listened to before, unless you've already heard Merzbow, I suppose. From the first second, your ears are penetrated by waves of intense, a-rhythmic sound. There are no lyrics. There is no easily defined song structure. There aren't even songs, in the traditional sense. It is music, only in the sense that it is organized sound. A combination of electronic and acoustic instruments, power tools, and broken tape machines seem to be responsible. It sounds like standing in a recording studio during an earthquake.
The first listen culminated in me hitting "Stop" barely a minute into the title track. The second was abandoned just as quickly. Yet, I persevered. I listened closely, searching for meaning, a pattern among the chaos. It was like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. 1930 evokes nothing more but pure emotion. Not hate, certainly not love, but emotion. In the quiet parts, rare as they are, there is a sense of malaise. In its most extreme sections, there is a sense of violent rage. 1930 cries out, begging to be acknowledged. It pulls no punches. There is only the noise.
- Degradation Of Tapes
- Iron, Glass, Blocks and White Lights