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Artist Bio

Merzbow is the Vegan Animal Rights Noise project of Masami Akita from Tokyo, Japan. In 1980, he created an experimental noise project called Merzbow. The discography is too extensive, there are over 300 releases. His earliest music was made with recorded tapes, audio mixer feedback, percussion and metal. Early methods included what he referred to as “Material Action”, in which he would closely amplify small sounds so as to distort them through the microphone; later, he made several albums of “SCUM” (“Scissors for Cutting Up Merzbow”/”Society for Cutting Up Merzbow”), for which he would cut up previous Merzbow albums until they resembled something new. His tendency to work in themed phases recalls his training as a visual artist. He released his music on cassettes through his own record label, Lowest Music & Arts and ZSF Produkt. He later began to use more electronic instruments and EMS synthesizers, but his music still consisted of what most people would think of as “noise”. From late 90s, Merzbow has begun to use digital technology more in his music. At a live performance these days, it is normal for him to produce all his music with combination of a laptop computer and analog equipment (synthesizer, tone generator, sampler, handmade scrap metals etc) In 2000, the Extreme record label released Merzbox, a 50 CD set of Merzbow. In 2002, he released Merzbeat; which was seen as a significant departure from his trademark abstract style in that it contains beat-oriented pieces. Merzbow’s most recent phase has an added political dimension, being explicitly related to animal rights and Veganism. An example of this is Minazo Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, dedicated to elephant seals, and Bloody Sea, a protest against Japanese whaling and collaboration with animal rights group such as Sea Shepherd, PETA etc. He has even produced several works centered around recordings of his pet chickens (notably Animal Magnetism, Turmeric, Yoshinotsune, Peace for animals, etc). In 2009, Merzbow released a monthly 13 CDs series called ‘Japanese Birds’ and featuring playing drums on these recording. He also started Duo project with hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi and played several live tour in europe/USA/japan. In 2010, Merzbow released 12 CDs Box called ‘Merzbient’ which selected unreleased ambient recording from late 1980-early 1990. Merzbow is worked with artists as Keiji Haino, Mike Patton, Alec Empire, Sunn0))), Boris, Richard Pinhas, The New Blockaders, Nordvargr, Hanin Elias, John Wiese etc.

Artist Press Photos

Catalog Items - Merzbow