Merzbow
1930


2.0
poor

Review

by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
November 24th, 2007 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 1930 brings the pain.

Having released over 300 CD’s and cassettes Merzbow (also known as Masami Atika) has been on the music scene since 1979. Using mostly laptops and analog synthesizers Atika is able to come up with a cluster*** of berserk beats, erratic tape effects, and loud, ear-pearcing sounds. It’s difficult for me to throw Merzbow into a certain genre because his music is so startlingly unconventional. Although some Merzbow purists rag on 1930 for being to conventional do not let that fool you, 1930 is one of the harshest and boisterous records that I have ever heard.

Upon first listen you may feel as though your walkman is broken. Atika relentlessly fuses together harsh beats with noisy, chaotic sound effects. In certain segments of “Degradation of Tapes” it sounds like an airplane is coming to a crash, sometimes Atika will take things so far that he’ll throw in a thunderous beeping effect for a couple of minutes without any other accompaniment. Featuring three tracks over twelve minutes long 1930 never lets up. It’s almost impossible to count how many times these songs shift from ambient keyboard touches, to an assault of booming beats, to full on noise attacks. The production is surprisingly clean, capturing every laptop bleep and noise explosion. These various laptop effects and odd blasts of avant-garde droning make Mr. Bungle seem like Nickelback.

While I’ll admit that I enjoy listening to 1930 every once in a blue moon it seems more like sitting in a torture chamber then it does listening to an album. I can only take so much of Atika’s excruciating beats and roaring invasions before I go insane. It’s extremely difficult to describe the actual sounds that Atika comes up with, a good portion of 1930 is just ferocious noise without any sense of rhythm or melody. That being said there are also slices of the album that contain a nice array of beats, and occasionally a colorful palette of electronic effects, but these are mostly found within a couple of minutes during the title track. I believe I would enjoy this album a lot more if Merzbow had an even balance of electronic effects and harsh noise attacks, but unfortunately 1930 is dominated by the former.

Granting a two star rating may seem a little harsh 1930 is so challenging and complex that I can hardly stand to listen to it in full. Being a casual fan of other noise-rock acts such as Wolf Eyes, Lightning Bolt, and Death Squad, Merzbow does take “noise-rock” to the extreme. If you’re looking for some loud, brutal, and relentless noise music then 1930 should be right up your ally. Just consider yourself warned....



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user ratings (107)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
TheWayfarerElectric (4.5)
1930 is a spectacular way to continue a career as spectacular as Masami Akita's. Rejoice!...



Comments:Add a Comment 
any14doomsday
November 24th 2007


680 Comments



Most of, if not all of what Merzbow does, is too hard to swallow. Check out sphere though, its really good... at least I think so. Some of his work with boris is pretty rad too.

Yyy
November 24th 2007


289 Comments


zebra why are you always wrong

Being a casual fan of other noise-rock acts such as Wolf Eyes, Lightning Bolt, and Death Squad
merzbow isn't noise rock. pure noise and noise rock are two pretty distinct and separate things

Neoteric
November 24th 2007


3243 Comments


While I don't mind listening to this sometimes, a lot of it is too abrasive to listen to on a regular basis so gg Zebra.

omgwtfboogie
November 24th 2007


211 Comments


If this is hard for you to listen to, don't listen to older Merzbow albums. You mentioned liking the more electronic parts, so I would recommend Aqua Necromancer, as it has a beat and is pretty accessible. Maybe start there and work backwards.

I don't think this review really does enough to describe the sound itself, or the emotions the music tries to evoke. Saying that the sound is chaotic and noisy is obvious. It's more intricate than that. I don't think someone should review Merzbow without spending more time with the genre more beforehand.

This brings to mind one of the reviews for Pig Destroyer's Prowler in the Yard where the reviewer didn't understand grind and penalized the record for their lack of understanding.

Zebra
Moderator
November 24th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

[quote=omgwtfboogie]I don't think this review really does enough to describe the sound itself, or the emotions the music tries to evoke. Saying that the sound is chaotic and noisy is obvious. It's more intricate than that. I don't think someone should review Merzbow without spending more time with the genre more beforehand.[/quote] When listening to this album it sounded like a bunch of noise, there's nothing "intricate" about this album and if there was then I don't want to spend time listening to it because it's such a difficult record. And I've heard 80's Merzbow material which is a little more brutal and noisy, but that doesn't make 1930 less abrasive just because it isn't as chaotic as older Merzbow.



McP3000
November 24th 2007


4117 Comments


i despise this genre of music.

Tyler
Emeritus
November 24th 2007


7927 Comments


yo i herd this was noise is it like convergeee?

MrKite
November 24th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They pretty much copy Merzbow 24/7.This Message Edited On 11.24.07

Yyy
November 25th 2007


289 Comments


When listening to this album it sounded like a bunch of noise, there's nothing "intricate" about this album and if there was then I don't want to spend time listening to it because it's such a difficult record.
wow if you can't tell that there is a lot going on, even if it's just "a bunch of noise," then you're seriously retarded

Zebra
Moderator
November 25th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

If you read my review I clearly stated that this is a "complex" album.

ValiumMan
November 25th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I like how you actually bothered to describe what's going on in the music instead of just calling it "a wall of noise" or "aural torture" (I mean, you did that, but you went further), like about 80% of the people who review Merzbow do, either professional or amateur. Also, I think your rating is totally justified, I can completely understand why someone wouldn't like this music or consider it excruciating.

I think that one important thing to understand with the 'Bow is that he's an ambient musician at the bottom of his heart, which is especially true for his later stuff. In fact, I consider most of his album to be rather meditative, as opposed to bludgeoning, kinda in the same way that Sunn O))) is meditative, but a touch heavier even. To me, an album like this or Sphere or Amlux or Merzzow sounds like Tangerine Dream with each member using about 10 fuzz pedals. Call me insane :D

br3ad_man
Emeritus
November 25th 2007


2126 Comments


While I don't mind listening to this sometimes, a lot of it is too abrasive to listen to on a regular basis so gg Zebra.


Word.

The thing I hate about this guy is that I really have no idea what to listen to from him, so the only reason I got this album was because it was the highest rated on AMG.

Aficionado
November 25th 2007


1027 Comments


AMG is so hit and miss with their reviews. Some of the reviewers know what they're talking about and some are so ignorant with their opinions and so ill-informed.

Yyy
November 25th 2007


289 Comments


accompament
might want to fix thatThis Message Edited On 11.25.07

Aficionado
November 25th 2007


1027 Comments


Elim where should I start with this guy?

Yyy
November 25th 2007


289 Comments


pulse demon
1930
sphere
merzbuddha
dharma
offering
sun baked snow cave w/boris

Aficionado
November 25th 2007


1027 Comments


k cool

lol merzbuddha. Is this guy a buddhist, cause Dharma is a buddhist term.

Yyy
November 25th 2007


289 Comments


i dont think so, but he's pretty heavy into animal rights

and porn

Aficionado
November 25th 2007


1027 Comments


sounds like my kinda guy

Kage
November 26th 2007


1172 Comments


Great review.



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