RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Jamie Saft & Merzbow: "Merzdub"

img  Tobias
Some people have called this a collaboration, which, of course, it isn’t. Not in the sense of sharing files and truly working on a piece of music together at least. Maybe Masami Akita’s approach of always searching for the most spontaneous expression rules out this possibility alltogether. Even his undaunting encounter with Elliott Sharp on “tranz” was nothing but an assignment for reinterpretation, resculpting or “re-imagining” as the press release called it at the time. Likewise, the collaborational aspect of “Merzdub” seems to have been completed with the artists agreing on a compositional process. After that, Jamie Saft was left to his own devices.

It’s not as though Saft couldn’t handle it. A veritable multi-instrumentalist, his talents have featured on the most diverse releases from the worlds of Rock, HipHop, Metal and everything in between. Here, however, the adjuratory vibrations of his subsonorous Bass are in the spotlight, pounding like a heart of blackness underneath layers of derilating digital debris. Building on this foundation of gutshattering rhythmic drones, he carefully adds spartanic beats, baroque Piano cadenzas, high-pitched tweeterings and offbeat Guitar impulses, running the viscous black melange through galaxies of echo by means of a sonic teleporter.

Akita’s aggressive distortions and impenetrable sheets of inwardly complex white hiss float through these dense, halucinatory frightscapes like Carpenter’ean fog. Rising from silence, they gradually increase in volume, all but drowning out Saft’s riddims and harmonic schemes. It is a duel of sorts, a constant quarrel over who reigns supreme in the land of Noise and Sludge.

On opening tune “Conquerer”, the acerbig sizzlings and frizzlings are still nothing but spacey backdrops. Their presence keeps intensifying, though, appearing as crippled Bass loops on the political manifesto “Skinning JLO”, before transforming into a gushing, untamed river on the eardeafening “Kantacky Fried Dub”, which sees the Merzbow-frequencies take the upper hand completely.

Saft has constructed these epics alone in his studio, but the intransigence of treating the contributions by his absent colleague as creative foreign matter equal to his own, instead of smoothly incorporating them into his cosmos is remarkable. The title of this album should rather be understood as “Merzbow in Dub” than “Merzbow does Dub” and yet, it is neither - never just a collection of remixes nor mere improvisations over Akita’s material.

An alliance forged on shifting sand, these pieces evoke images of a surreal symbiosis, which works because its members treat every note with a similar degree of utmost respect and utter disdain. On twelve-minute finale “Slow Down Furry Dub”, their handshake results in a fantasmagoric fantasy of gentle washes of ambient rain, monolithic Piano clusters and endless variations on the same Bass run. For a second there, it misleads you into believing “Merzdub” could truly be labelled a collaboration.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Jamie Saft
Homepage: Merzbow
Homepage: Caminante Recordings

Related articles

flag
Concert Review/ Moritz von Oswald Trio
Live at Berghain, Berlin, September ...
2009-10-01
flag
Lee 'Scratch' Perry: "Scratch Conquered"
A hungry young dog: Adds ...
2009-07-29
flag
CD Feature/ Alif Tree: "Clockwork"
A running of the emotional ...
2009-03-09
flag
CD Feature/ Bvdub: "Return to Tonglu"
Real power for the integration ...
2009-03-06
flag
Concert Report: Merzbow & Richard Pinhas & Das Synthetische Mischgewebe
Live at Stadtgarten, Cologne, November ...
2008-11-13
flag
Richard Pinhas & Merzbow: 'Keio Line' Collaboration Live and on CD
Guitarist Richard Pinhas, hailed as ...
2008-11-10
flag
Stephane Leonard: 'Lykkelig Dyr" bound for Bremen and Brooklyn
Painter, Composer and Filmmaker Stephane ...
2008-10-23
flag
Bjerga/Iversen: Only the Best will do
Norwegian Sound Sculptors Berja/Iversen are ...
2008-09-30
flag
LP Feature/ Fuck Buttons: "Colours Move"
Officially the world’s most famous ...
2008-09-04
flag
MoHa!: Take a One-way Ticket To Candyland
The dynamic duo of MoHa! ...
2008-09-02
flag
LP Feature/ FRANCIS| GUERRA| MATTIN| STERN: "s/t"
Dense, organic scrapescapes: The individual ...
2008-08-26
flag
Li Tie Qiao: Returns to China's Improvisational Heart
Chinese Sonic Explorer, Improvisor and ...
2008-08-20
flag
Interview with Birchville Cat Motel
“Aren’t ALL descriptive words for ...
2008-08-19
flag
15 Questions to N Strahl N
Noise is often regarded as ...
2008-08-05
flag
Take a sharp bow!
A highly promising collaboration
2005-06-20

Partner sites

ad