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Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boris & Merzbow, 31 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Sun Baked Snow Cave (Audio CD)
I've been intrigued by this for a while and read lots of reviews to whether it's worth getting. Some people say its OK, some people say it's genius, you never really hear any bad reviews about drone. Maybe because the people who know it exists and acknowledge it as a form of music usually really like it and the others who would hate it simply don't know it's there. Imagine a 20min Sunn O))) video on MTV! It would be hilarious!

If anyone isn't familiar with either Boris or Merzbow, then I will enlighten you. They are probably two of the most recognised Japanise musical acts at the moment in the West, both operating on the extreme and experimental fringe of music's boundaries. Boris (the title of a Melvins song) are a three piece heavy rock band who play fast, aggressive, punk and stoner rock inspired songs under the heading `BORIS' (all capitals). They also play under `boris' (all lower case) where they play a more esoteric form of music called `drone'. The drummer usually switches to second guitar for gigs under this guise and they churn out massive walls of sound and ambient textures for the listener's pleasure. I personally prefer this facet of Boris because, believe it or not, I find it to be more interesting than the plain old rock Boris.

Merzbow (Masami Akita to his mother) is the grandfather of the Japanese experimental noise movement. He began in the mid 1980s and has released uncountable albums, CDs, EPs, vinyl, remixes, and whatever. I think this entire catalogue was all put together in a package called the `Merzbox' and retailed at something like $500.

`'What's `noise'?" I hear you ask. Well, noise, is, er...........noise. It's all electronically fucked-with sounds, samples and effects and layered up it just, literally sounds like excrutiating white noise. I honestly don't know how people can listen to it; Merzbow's usual output just sounds like a microphone in a blender to my ears.

However, thank the lord he's toned it down for `Sun Baked Snow Cave', a huge 62 minute collaborative track between the two.

`Sun Baked Snow Cave' is the aural equivalent of a glacier's life cycle. It builds and grows slowly until it hits it's peak and crushes everything in it's path until it finally recedes and disappears. It's takes you on a journey all right.

Bori's past works have been similar; Feedbacker and Flood being two prime examples. They built, crescendoed then collpsed back in on themselves and returned to their original state. If you're familiar with those two then Sun Baked Snow Cave should be right up your street (sans drums). It's one long piece of experimental drone laced with Merzbow's subtle electronics. It all works magically and is one of my favourite things at the moment. I've sat through it twice already.

If Boris' collab with Merzbow is this good I can't wait for the one with Sunn O))).
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Location: Manchester

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