Sub Rosa

The fact that this 2-CD set is already sold out at the source shortly after its publication tells everything you need to know about the legendary status of Masami Akita aka Merzbow. The high priest of contemporary noise – whose indeterminable output and multitudinous collaborations can only be studied by setting aside a couple of months, perhaps – is a man capable of extracting useful furore from just everywhere; the word “distortion” assumes entirely new meanings when it comes to describing that petrifying racket. What I was NOT aware of is Opening Performance Orchestra: a seven-member group from Czech Republic endowed with equally impressive attitude, mainly influenced by Fluxus, Futurism, Cage and several other artists whose oeuvre I’d love to deepen one day. Maybe in the next life cycle (ha!).

Obeying to the principles of the “no melodies – no rhythms – no harmonies” philosophy (quite close to that of Phill Niblock, ending instead with “no bullshit”), the six tracks of Merzopo – no further elucidation, it’s not necessary – will immediately kick your skull, completely destroying whatever intellectual activity was planned for that moment. The radical intricacy born from thousands of overcharged frequencies is, as expected, acrid to the very extreme; besides Merzbow himself, the lone term of comparison coming to mind right now is Zbigniew Karkowski (incidentally, his fifth death anniversary recurred in these days). This music does not deserve the pathetic insubstantiality of a description, which would equal someone’s egotistical pretence of verbally depicting an infinite process of transformation of the matter. We hear it, feel it, walk across or merely float into it, are ultimately overwhelmed by it. The loudness verging on the absurd, the banishment of a regular logic from the brain all but warranted.

But there is a meaning in all of this. Explaining it to the cosmic proletariat is beyond our possibilities, though. What remains to be said is simply “shut up”: total silence and massive disturbance are contiguous. No hope for the earthbound inhabitants of the so-called celestial spheres to understand even a fraction of what’s in here. Maybe in the next life cycle (double ha!).

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