Merzbow is one of the most prolific and fearsome artists of the past few decades. His earliest releases (dating from 1980) arrived in the form of limited, hand-made cassettes (on his own Lowest Music & Arts label), from 1990 onwards, CD became the format of choice, with much of his output released on his other label, ZSF.
Continually developing his style and technique, the mid ‘90s saw a flood of releases that embodied the sonically devastating, powerwash quality which helped put Merzbow on the map. His popularity grew rapidly throughout the late 90s, and this flood of output continues with Merzbow having racked up a truly enormous catalogue, across an ever-increasing number of labels. After years of rumour, in August 2000, the gargantuan “Merzbox” compilation was released, a 50 CD box set released on the Australian Extreme label. Since then, Akita has moved from largely analogue-based methods into a more digital, laptop-based approach.
Through no fault of his own, Merzbow has become almost a lazily-used byword for seemingly anything viscerally intense and noise-based, yet the Merzbow oeuvre is in actuality an intriguing and relatively diverse body of work. Like AMM (with whom he shared a split 12” in 1998) however, there remains the sense that however much the music changes, it remains instantly recognisable.
Impossible to keep pace with, Akita is responsible for some of the most awesome, immersive and feverishly alive freeform music ever made.