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Take a sharp bow!

img  Tobias

Take two proponents of modern music's outer extremes and let them re-work their respective music - what do you get? The answer to this question is given on "tranz", the result of a collaboration between Japanese artist Merzbow and Elliott Sharp.

Depending on your musical preferences, you will probably faintly have heard of at least one of them. Merzbow is the pseudonym of Masami Akita, who can well be awarded the title of "King of Noise". Coming from the Japanese school of experimental music, his compositions are heavily improvised and distinctly non-intellectual. Instead of aiming at academic discourse, Merzbow wants his listeners to be captivated by the beauty of noise, by its pureness and even primitiveness. In his eyes, not the brain, but the body should be the target and he stresses the sensual side of his music - his main idea is that "everything is erotic". Which, at first contact with his tracks, seems a bit odd, as they mostly consist of no more than highly repetitive and extremely raw and brutal shock waves of tonal scrap. In his best moments, however, Akita leads the audience into a realm of extreme and strange beauty, into a field of absurd dreams and blurring fantasies.

Elliott Sharp, meanwhile, has gained wordlwide recognition for his energetic and powerful style of modern and still timeless orchestral music. A constant traveler and always open for new ideas, he has become something of an ambassador for current symphonic music - strongly influenced by the grand masters, yet with an awareness of technology's possibilities. What makes his work so exciting is the fact that he is neither trying to immitate nor looking for a simple cross-over. Whatever comes out of his compositional process, is original in the truest sense of the word and can appeal to fans of Classical and Rock Music alike.

With this short introduction in mind, it should bear no surprise, that the result of the collaboration between these two artists should be highly interesting. The album is called "tranz" and offers four tracks, two of whom see Merzbow using source material of Elliott and the other two Sharp taking on Akita's music to create something now. Unfortunately, there's not much to be found on the CD and it seems a bit hard to get in Europe. Even the homepage of Caminante Recordings, home of this release, outdoes almost 99% of the Internet when it comes to loveless presentation. But rest assured, that taking the time to find this one may well prove worthwhile.

Homepage: Merzbow
Homepage: Elliott Sharp
Homepage: Caminante Recordings

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