Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) is one of my heroes. Not only is he one of the innovators of noise-as-music, with an incredible range of stylistic applications in his repertoire, he also shames most creative artists in terms of sheer productivity. The amount of Merzbow/Masami Akita solo releases and collaborations on LP, 7" vinyl, cassette tape and CD is absolutely staggering, approximately 400 since 1980; that's an average of 14 releases per year, making him something like the Fassbinder of Noise. The thing about his catalog, at least from this fan's perspective, is that so much of it is really very good, the constant experimentation and variation of his approach, and the collaborations with other artists bearing proof of an extremely bountiful creative spirit.
This LP, apparently titled Hannover Interruption (at least according to Wikipedia and Discogs, though no such information appears anywhere on the package, not in English characters anyway) was a joint release of Dom Elchklang and the short-lived Dragnet Records label. Almost everything both labels have touched is pure gold to me, and Dradomel in particular also released one of my all-time favorite LPs, Rowenta/Khan's Tiefpunkte Moderner Tonkompositionen (also 1992, now on CD.)
This album finds Merzbow in full-on, harsh-noise mode, at least at first listen. The more one becomes acclimated to the sound, the more layers of activity emerge: electric groans and roars, bird-call-like feedback, moog sirens, percussive analog static, thousands of pots and pans falling down a hill, even the occasional vocal. It's this artful layering of sound (among other things) that separates Merzbow from some jag-off that just turns on a noise generator and walks away. To my knowledge, these recordings are not included in the massive 50-CD Merzbox (Extreme, 2000) though the Merzbox does include a disc called Hannover Cloud dated 1990.
Merzbow continues his prolific tide, with some notable recent releases being Electric Dress (with Carlos Giffoni and Jim O'Rourke), Merzbuddha, and Merzbear (the latter two being part of his mostly animal-devoted Merz series on the Important label.) In the past several years, Masami has also become an activist for animal rights, including the PETA url alongside his own merzbow.net on CD sleeves. (Just imagining the Noise-God rubbing shoulders at a charity event with Pamela Anderson gives me a big fat grin for uncountable reasons.)
Next time: My Merzbow singles!