Important Records (2005)
What do Autechre, Aphex Twin and Merzbow have in common? In this instance, it’s Merzbuta. Take Aphex Twin’s more abrasive moments circa the nineties, and Autechre’s extra challenging concoctions such as Draft 7.30 and Untilted, and you have Merzbow at possibly his most palatable.
This record works for me in ways that Merzbow has never worked for me before. It’s right up there with Yoshinotsune as one of my favourite Merzbow releases. Other titles in this ‘Merz’ series have dabbled with conformist rhythms (Merzbeat and Merzbird) but they haven’t sounded as confident or distinctive as this; they’ve been exercises in Mr. Akita masturbating noise over a simple beat. Annica also falls into this category.
Merzbuta distils Mr. Akita’s propensity for arranging rhythmic configurations of ‘noise’ into a record that dances a very fine line between convention and anti-music. It’s incredibly textural, almost catchy and a truckload of fun, just like the cover art. I was amazed to read on Discogs that a number of people aren’t all that fond of Merzbuta. For my two cents, you aren’t a fan unless you own this.