Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow - Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow - Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow

by paul_guyet Rating:7 Release Date:2017-04-21


It is intended for a very specific audience. Those included in that audience however, might consider it an historic release.

Myself…I’m kinda in that audience, so….yeah.

Merzbow (real name Masami Akita) is the legendary Japanese noise goblin, a man who’s been creating some of the most intriguing and nightmarish electronic noise for decades. Alessandro Cortini is the Italian Buchla master, founder of SONOIO, creator of the Forse trilogy and various other sonic soundscapes, as well as a long time collaborator and touring member of Nine Inch Nails and How To Destroy Angels. Together, Cortini and Akita sat down with an EMS Synthi and have made what can only be described as proto-prog-indie-folk mixed with Santana-influenced salsa no-wave grunge.

I’m kidding. It’s about an hour plus of fucking splintery, brain-shredding noise.

The record scratches its way into your brain while a low, repeating oscillation hypnotizes you. Like a digital chicken, looking for pixelcorn. Once it finds the corn, it just starts screaming and seizing like a breakdancer covered in bees. All the while, that small oscillating wave… Things increase in speed and pitch, and the chickens all start fighting. As things wear on, you think there's a beat and more structure, but there isn't.

Then it grinds to a close. Whew.

Track two, ‘MAAC’, starts in the midst of a sound storm. Stays there.

The second disc seems to be where things really evolve and distinguish themselves. Although you can’t tell, I’m being completely sincere with that sentence. I’m going to give the credit for this shape and progression to Cortini.

‘AAMC' gutters out after only a few minutes before skittering and chuffing back in with its second movement, ‘CMAA'. This is the most dynamic, structured section here.

‘MCAA’ has a tantalizing sense of menace and delirium to it from the get go. Like listening to something being sacrificed. As things progress, there's a sense of some huge and world ending entity lurking in the background, some foul presence. Rather frightening, to be frank. The combination of elements is epic.

Taken as a whole, this feels a lot more Merzbow-y and a lot less Cortini-y, so take that into consideration if you were expecting a smoother sound from the former. If this collaboration is merely a love letter to the Synthi, meant to show how much these sonic artists dig it, then mission accomplished. However, if it's meant to show the versatility of the EMS Synthi, then it fails. If you try a build a house with a circular saw as your only tool…well, it would probably sound like this collaboration.

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