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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover MERZBOW Eucalypse (Soleilmoon) cd 28.00

album cover MERZBOW Frog (Misanthropic Agenda) 2cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is the finally-on-cd version of the super cool Merzbow then-lp-only Frog we reviewed a year or so back. Here's what we said abouth the vinyl:
Yep, that's right, Masami Akita exploits the powerful and hypnotic depth of everyone's favorite musical amphibians. The record begins, simply enough, with the soothing rumbling croak of the webbed feet wonders, gradually evolving into an explosive demon that only Merzbow can conjure up. Handsomely packaged in a gatefold sleeve adorned with colorful baby frogs and layered with a gorgeous glossy transparent iconic design (designed by Akita, and included in an exhibition at Yokohama Triennale 2001 in Japan, where Merzbow also had a sound installation room). All in all, another fantastic post-analogue release from Akita-san, and top-notch excellence in its concept and execution.
Thankfully, the cd, now a double, is packaged just as exquisitely (minus the stupid top obi, that is TAPED TO THE DIGIPAK!! Be warned: remove CAREFULLY!) The bonus disc contains almost an hour of extra material, 4 extended tracks of Merzbowian white noise pummel, as well as a really beautiful screen saver for your computer.
MPEG Stream: "Kaeru No Shima"
MPEG Stream: "Black Frog"

MERZBOW Frog (Misanthropic Agenda) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yep, that's right, Masami Akita exploits the powerful and hypnotic depth of everyone's favorite musical amphibians. The record begins, simply enough, with the soothing rumbling croak of the webbed feet wonders, gradually evolving into an explosive demon that only Merzbow can conjure up. Handsomely packaged in a gatefold sleeve adorned with colorful baby frogs and layered with a gorgeous glossy transparent iconic design (designed by Akita, and included in an exhibition at Yokohama Triennale 2001 in Japan, where Merzbow also had a sound installation room). Pressed on truly amazing green and red spotted "frog" colored vinyl that makes this worth owning in itself! All in all, another fantastic post-analogue release from Akita-san, and top-notch excellence in its concept and execution.

album cover MERZBOW Hard Lovin' Man (Anoema) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Possibly the first deconstruction (re: remix) effort from Akita-san (unless you count that disc supposedly based on free jazz drumming?). Yes, that fragment of guitar you'll hear looped and processed on "Hard Lovin' Man" is that of Ritchie Blackmore, from the 1970 LP "Deep Purple In Rock". But really this sounds more Kevin Shields than Blackmore, as Akita's original studio piece (recorded in his Bed Room Studio on October 5, 2000) is a twenty minute hypnotic beast rich in texture and dynamics. Brutally punishing, but so beautiful as well. The subsequent forty-two minute live track which opens the disc (recorded October 11, 2000 at the Avanto Festival in Helsinki, Finland) expands on the piece, adding real time effects and manipulation. More harsh and destructive than the original Bed Room piece. It seems Akita's move into the digital realm has opened new doors and endless possibilites for the King Of Noise. A very rare sparkling gem in the extremely vast oeuvre of Merzbow. Absolutely fucking gorgeous. Seriously.
RealAudio clip: "Hard Lovin' Man"

album cover MERZBOW Ikebana: Merzbow's Amlux Rebuilt, Reused and Recycled (Important) 2cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Although it says that this is not a remix record on the sticker, not sure what else you could call it. A bunch of folks incorporate bits of the Merzbow record Amlux into their original compositions. The sound is all over the place. From hip-hop instrumentals to crazy turntablism to glitched out big beats to all out noise to malfunctioning video game sounds to riot grrl-ish techno to droning soundscapes and beyond. Features: DJ Spooky, DJ/ Rupture, Plug, Alec Empire, Negativland, Hrvatski, Mouse On Mars, KK Null, Kim Cascone, Kim Hiorthoy, Nobukazu Takemura, E.A.R./Sonic Boom, Cornelius, Atom, Custom Drummer, Bola, Jack Dangers, Freiband and a bunch more. Two discs!

album cover MERZBOW Last of Analog Sessions (Important) 3cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We were all ready to pan this. I mean, do we really need more Merzbow? More ear splitting, speaker wrecking Japanoise? And is Merzbow's "last analog sessions" really all that newsworthy even meriting a triple cd box? And is Merzbow's 23,000-and-counting album discography in need of a 3 disc boost? Well, not sure we can answer any of those questions (um...yes we can..NO). So while this IS more of that shrieking crunchy fuzzed out white noise that is Masami Akita's trademark, that you've heard on perhaps hundreds of records, these three discs are actually pretty darn good. Textured and thick, lots of pulsing rhythms, throbbing rumble, shrieking hiss and fuzzy non-melodies. Casutic and face melting indeed, but also surprisingly listenable! Don't take that to mean that if you don't like 'noise' that you'll like this, 'cause you probably won't. But if you do dig stuff like Masonna, Merzbow, and the like, or even if you're a fan of Total, Skullflower, and other noisy drone and just want to try something a little more extreme, then this would most certainly fit the bill. Comes in a nice, silver-embossed slipcase with the cds in individually printed sleeves, with a patch (although, it's a bit of shameless promotion with Important Records embroidered right there next to Merzbow).
MPEG Stream: "Monmon"

MERZBOW Live At Radio 100 (ERS) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Meet DJ Merzbow! Yes, the famed Japanese noise-artist Masami Akita hops on the wheels of steel for this live Dutch radio broadcast. Wikky wikky woo. Which means that the turntables certainly come in for some abuse! Plus he deploys his usual noise electronics as well. Still, this is marginally more 'musical' than most Merzbow output, 'cause of the records being 'played'. Dedicated Japanese noise fans might recall the Flying Testicle project, that's what this reminds us of. Also featuring Merzbow members Bara (turntables, voice) and Reiko A. (theremin). Plus guest Radboud Mens on turntable as well. Comes in a handsome cardboard slipcover package. Limited to 500 copies.

album cover MERZBOW Merzbear (Important) cd 14.98
Cute title, harsh noise!

album cover MERZBOW Merzbeat (Important) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ah, another Merzbow disc. I'm expecting a good hour's worth of sheer audio fuckery from the king of noise Masami Akita, a.k.a. Merzbow. But what's this? MerzBEAT? And... is that really a Kid606 plug on the cover sticker? Hmm. I'm sure I can't be blamed for having been a little worried about what this was going to sound like. Fortunately it's *really* good. There's all the typical Merzbow-isms here -- cascading sheets of sonic screeches, shimmering metallic flutters, gritty distortion -- but he's gone a little percussion-happy and anchored each track with just awesomely satisfying muscular drumming that sounds like he's pounding on trash cans and sheet metal. Unpredictable and yet, strangely, one of his most accessible releases due to the grounding nature of the drums, reminding us, naturally, of Akita's countryfolk, the Boredoms who too know the power of the drum. Those of y'all diggin' the angular noise core of hipper than jesus duos like Lightning Bolt, Pink & Brown, etc. oughta give this a try. Loose yet right on target aggression.
The hidden track, a remix by Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto, isn't quite so hidden since it appears right here in the track listing, but nonetheless it's the most punishing 8 minutes on the album. Oh, and it must also be mentioned that track one is a (totally unrecognizable, natch) cover of "Promotion Man," by obscure proto-metal hard rockers Highway Robbery. (Geez, that's like an Allan wet dream!)
RealAudio clip: "Promotion Man"
RealAudio clip: "Forgotten Land"
RealAudio clip: "Tadpole"

album cover MERZBOW Merzbird (Important) cd 14.98
As you may imagine, it's sometimes tough for us to keep up with all of Japanese noise master Merzbow's releases...in fact, we can't claim we do, although Jim did review the entire Merzbox once upon a time so that's something! Anyway, let's get to this one: what's billed as the follow-up to the much-liked Merzbeat, released by Important in 2002. As with that, this is about the beats...squelching, crunching, distorted beats, immersed in a howling vacuum-cleaner din! Probably only Kid606 would seriously consider this dance music, but as Merzbow albums go, I guess it is (there really are breakbeats on here). But we're pretty sure that if, say, the US Army got their hands on it, it'd be getting blasted at insurgents holed up in some mosque in Iraq. Repetitive, insistent, very dynamic stuff that fans of Wolf Eyes, Nautical Almanac and all that ilk will surely dig.
MPEG Stream: "Black Swan"
MPEG Stream: "Brown Pelican"

album cover MERZBOW Merzbook: The Pleasuredome of Noise (Extreme) book + cd 34.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is for all the sane people out there who didn't buy the Merzbox (a massive 50 cd anthology offering a mere sample of Japan's most prolific noise artist), but who are interested in the wealth of information found within the box. The Merzbook, which was previously published for the Merzbox, is an equally impressive document delving into the history and critical analysis of his work. Edited by Brett Woodward, the Merzbook also features specially commissioned essays by admirers, collaborators, and peers, as well as a CD-ROM with tons of text, art, video, images, soundbites, and even a Merzbow game!

MERZBOW Merzbox (Extreme) 50cd + box 650.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ohmigod. The Merzbox. It's finally here. For real. The ultimate artifact of Japanese noise music. 50 cds. Yes 50 cds! A weighty book. A metal medallion. A t-shirt (xl). A silkscreened poster. Stickers. All housed in a softpack case that's a little smaller than your average briefcase.
We've left the book intact in its hermetic (shrinkwrapped) seal, but unzipped (literally) the container which holds the cds. We'll trust that noble publication The Wire with their analysis of the book as an exceptionally researched and interesting document. [It is really cool sez Allan who later on bought one of these.] I (AQ's Jim) intend on embarking on what could be a stupid project. Each day I work, I will subject myself (and AQ's beloved customers) to one of the Merzbox's discs -- that is, until we sell the stock we have, or I decide I really need to own it, or I go insane, or some combination of all of the above.
For those of you not familiar with Merzbow (not that you're going to be too likely to purchase this if you're not!), this is the noise project led by Japan's Masami Akita working at times with Reiko A (who I believe is his wife) and a few other cohorts. If you recall your art history, Kurt Schwitters began a project in the 1930s of constructed the Merzbau -- a house which was shaped, dissolved, and built out of junk. Akita's project of a similar name take the junk of sound and transforms it into blistering noise assaults with an incredible spectrum that has warranted this 50 cd collection.
Disc One starts off with cable buzz that could explode at any moment but doesn't. With everything from Merzbow that I've heard being so abrasive, mind-erasing, and abusive, I was pleased to see that it didn't explode. Rather, Merzbow takes a direction you'd more expect from Sun City Girls or the No Neck Blues Band with what sounds like banjo pluckery and tin cup percussive rhythms.
Disc Two. Remember the guy from Police Academy who vocally emulated R2-D2, airplanes, and coffee machines? Well, Merzbow does that too, as this disc is a complex display of various squiggles that probably don't have the comedic definitions that I got from it. Buried underneath the varied knob twiddled squeals and high-end vibrations is a noxious rumble, making this one quite a bit noisier than the last.
Disc Three. This is the problem with this set (aside from the price), I dropped in, by mistake, Disc Forty-Seven, thinking it was Disc Three. 47 sounded really groovy, sorta like Alec Empire's drum machines getting some terminal abuse. But I'm on Disc Three, which is much quieter affair, with a looping sample of distorted flute (?) in the background, with Akita scraping two pieces of metal together with restraint (!). Then there's a kazoo and amplifier piece which sounded a lot like Gerogerigegege (the noise band fronted by a masturbating 50 year old accountant). They make me laugh a lot. Regardless, it scares me how much I like this piece.
And there's 47 more discs to explore! One man's world of noise/music. The Merzbox, ridiculous yes, but incredible also. Itself a work of (conceptual) art, lovely (and mind boggling) to behold. Buy now, or cry later -- needless to say, as we only have 2, and it's a limited edition, as if you doubted that!

MERZBOW Merzbuta (Important) cd 14.98

album cover MERZBOW Metamorphism (Very Friendly) cd 40.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We will admit, we've pretty much reached our Merzbow saturation point. For all the joking we do about bands who are WAY too prolific. Nobody come close to Merzbow. Not even counting the mighty Merzbox, Merzbow must average a release a month. For the last 20 years. Holy shit. You do the math. And some months there are 2 or 3 new Merzbow releases. Does anybody need every single one? We're pretty sure the answer is no. And there are probably a few people who could argue that nobody needs ANY. But c'mon, for every pointless disc of straight white noise feedback, there is a disc of weirdly chopped rhythms, or weird karaoke noise, or a record made from all jazz drums. Maybe the ratio is quite that balanced, but there are quite a few discs well worth checking out. And Metamorphism is definitely qualifies. Sure most of the disc is a head shredding barrage of brutal digital glitch and shrieking looped feedback and all sorts of caustic harshness, but even within a squall of such brutality, there are lots of cool little sonic subtleties and bizarre alien melodies, careening and getting all tangled up into impossible shapes and mixing to form even more unlikely sounds. The final track is our favorite though. Some damaged detuned Jandekian guitar buried under thick swirls of spacey FX and fuzzy white noise whir, all the while haunting ghostly stumbling melodies hover and drift within a lurching looped psychscape of tangled and garbled sonic splatter. So cool. So even after maybe thousands of records, he's still got it in him to surprise us with something super far out and surprisingly listenable.
Another way in which certain Merzbow records stand out is their packaging. The Merzbox of course, 50 cds, a shirt a book, a poster a medallion, all in a weird rubberized case, the legendary Merz-cedes, an actual Mercedes with a Merzbow cd permanently stuck in the stereo, and a dizzying assortment of strange shapes and weird cases. But Metamorphism definitely has to be one of the nicest we've seen. A thick velvety bag, holds the disc, a printed insert on thick glossy cardstock, all housed in an incredible heavy marble box, hinged on one side, with a fossilized Ammonite engraved into the top. So amazing. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
MPEG Stream: "Metamorphism Pt. 2"
MPEG Stream: "Metamorphism Pt. 4"

MERZBOW Minazo Vol 1 (Important) cd 14.98

MERZBOW New Takamagahara (Jazzassin) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Although the fine editors of this AQlist have been slowly releasing my rants on the Merzbox even though all of the writing and all of the listening has been long completed (fuck yeah! 'punching air' as The Wire would put it), Merzbow had to put out another Goddamn record. So after 50 discs of NoiseJunkEjaculationFuckCollage, you think I'd have nothing more to say... well you're right. Read all those reviews of the Merzbox if you care what I think about the Japanese noise god.
This is late period Merzbow. It's 'limited' to 500. It's on a Swedish label. It's 39.32 times cheaper than the Merzbox. What more do you want?

album cover MERZBOW Protean World (Noiseville) lp 16.98

MERZBOW Rainbow Electronics II (Dexter's Cigar) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From Jim O'Rourke and David Grubb's new Drag City imprint, the previously-unreleased companion piece to Rainbow Electronics, one of the classics that made the King of Japanese Noise worthy of his title. Fine stuff with lots going on, and "rainbow electronics" is as fitting a description as any.

MERZBOW Rainbow Electronics II (Dexter's Cigar) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From Jim O'Rourke and David Grubb's new Drag City imprint, the previously-unreleased companion piece to Rainbow Electronics, one of the classics that made the King of Japanese Noise worthy of his title. Fine stuff with lots going on, and "rainbow electronics" is as fitting a description as any.

MERZBOW Scumtron (Blast First) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not just another Merzbow noise-blast disc, this is a remix compilation that lets folks like, among others, Jim O'Rourke, Panasonic, Autechre, Bernhard Gunter, and Masami Akita himself, take the noise and create something perhaps more obviously structured with it. As such, it's pretty interesting, and if you're not going to buy all 2,000 Merzbow releases this year, this one at least should be considered. In fact, even if you weren't going to buy *any* Merzbow this year or any other year, "Scumtron" might still be for you. Certainly fans of Panasonic-style beat-cruch won't be disappointed.

album cover MERZBOW Senmaida (Blossoming Noise) cd 14.98
I really don't need to listen to any more Merzbow records in my life, as several years back I (Jim) took the task of enduring the entire Merzbox (all 50 CDs of monstrous, punishing noise.) Yet month after month, Masami Akita continues to churn out extraordinary records from his battery of noise machines. With the roll of the die cast in my direction, I strap myself in for some raw aural brutality. Senmaida stands out immediately with its galloping drum machine breakbeat that precedes the virulant boils of his signature seering noise, giving Merzbow a legitimate noise grooviness previously held by Christine 23 Onna and Aufgehoben No Process. The beat itself starts out a little stiff, which is not surprising as Akita-san is not really known to get down and boogie; but when the noise machines begin to explode with their volcanic psychedelia of molten noise, the breakbeat takes a step back and actually forms an excellent counterpoint to the noise. Out of this rhythm (which come to think of it really does sound like a Garage Band preset, ha!), our noise hero lays down several lumbering industrial loops of a percolated squiggle alternated with a menacing plod, out of which comes the shredding noise and a post-Neubauten metal bashed rhythm. And oh, yeah there's a track built out of a sample of a sheep's bleating which oozes with the danse macabre of Alec Empire. Be prepared to be impressed by Senmaida!
MPEG Stream: "Tract 1"
MPEG Stream: "Tract 3"

album cover MERZBOW Sha Mo 3000 (Essence Music) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another Merzbow. Another Circle. Another Acid Mothers Temple. It's like these bands are just daring us. Taunting us. But at least in the case of these three bands, they keep winning. We're all ready to unleash a "Who the fuck needs more of..." and they hit us with a record that kicks ass. Again. Which is fine. There will always be plenty of records deserving of a "Who the fuck needs more of...", we'd much rather hear more great music. And Sha Mo 3000 is pretty great. Admittedly, Merzbow has sort of painted himself into a corner with his straight noise records, as the noise crowd is pretty limited and noise as a genre and sound has existed pretty much unchanged for 2 or 3 decades. And there are only so many ways you can record and produce white/pink noise. But occasionally Merzbow will step out of his Japanoise persona and surprise us, and let non-noise folks in for a peek. Well, Sha Mo 3000 is NOT one of those records. Nope. This is definitely a noise record. Continuing in his exploration of the lap top, Merzbow contiues to punish and destroy. Thankfully, his sonic palette is much expanded by his shift to computer and years of noise has seemingly helped him understand the need for dynamics. Thus we have a very sonically engaging, very dynamic noise record. The sounds are amazing, grinding and throbbing, pounding and hissing, notes and melodies may be present, but they've been squeezed and stretched and tangled up into impossible shapes, which makes this record absolutely fascinating. Listening to it, I found myself not really "listening to a record", but sort of navigating a treacherous labyrinth, where around any corner could be a potentially dangerous spike of white noise or blast of barbed fuzz. Like a musical Indiana Jones. A very challenging, very satisfying listen, but only for the truly brave or those who consider noise to be their friend.
MPEG Stream: "Suzunami"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Hide Your Eyes"

album cover MERZBOW Timehunter (Ant-Zen) 4x3"cd 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Merzbow must have a thing for office supplies. The 50 cd Merzbox didn't come in some crazy custom designed box or wrapped in human flesh or anything like that. It was in a regular old Case Logic cd carrying case. The kind you keep in your car. So it came as no surprise that this new four 3" cd set comes in a day planner. Yep. Like the kind your Mom scheduled your soccer games in when you were 12. Granted, the name and title are silkscreened in silver on the front. But it's still a regular old day planner. Inside are a calendar, much like...well, like a day planner, although the design is a little more sleek and stylish. And the occasional day is filled in with stuff to do. Although the stuff to do reads: 4:34/65#//32 or something like that. But it's all part of the concept. Time. Get it? The four 3" discs are mounted nicely (and securely, thankfully) on two pages of the calendar. We were super excited to hear this because supposedly the samples are from 70's hard rock bands like Golden Earring, Spontaneous Combustion and the like. Coupled with fierce breakbeats and mutated into walls of guitar drone. Yeah, sounds great doesn't it? Well, it is pretty great, but I don't think it necessarily sounds like it was described. It's definitely more dynamic than the majority of Merzbow releases (dynamics was, to me, always Merzbow's main failing) but it's not nearly as wall of guitar sounding as the recent "24 Hours - A Day Of Seals" 4cd set which definitely channelled the spirt of Skullflower or Earth, it actually reminds us way more of the recent "Merzbeat" cd we reviewed several lists back with some almost-danceable beats, and lots of murky rhythms and pulses. But there ARE moments of heaviness although they aren't necessarily heavy the way you might envision when you hear the word heavy along side the idea of samples of 70's hard rock. It's more like thick, corrosive waves of sound, that very well could've been guitars or something else organic at some point, but have shrugged off their mortal coils and became MERZ-sounds. Good stuff. Nice to see there's still some new ideas and new directions to be explored even after 152,342 releases. This definitely ranks as some of the more interesting/appealing Merzbow and it's certainly worth a listen. Especially if you're also in the market for a kind of expensive daily planner.
MPEG Stream: "Warhorse"
MPEG Stream: "Space Trackin'"

MERZBOW Tumeric (Blossoming Noise) 4-cd 36.00

MERZBOW / AMM split (Fat Cat) 12" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The latest in this high profile series of split 12"s. Merzbow is at his most melodic, coming up with an almost hummable bit of white noise. The AMM side is all rhythm, primarily beautifully meandering chimes and bells.

MERZBOW / BASTARD NOISE (Release) cd 14.98
Split cd between Japan's prolific master of noise and the noiser side of California "power violence" heroes Man Is The Bastard. Very nice packaging, by the way.

album cover MERZBOW / MATSUNAGA KOUHEI split (Tigerbeat6) cd 13.98
Split disc between two noise giants from Japan via Kid 606's Tigerbeat6 imprint. Masami Akita furthers his explorations in the digital domain, appropriating the tranquil somniloquisms of Olivier Messiaen's "Mode De Valeurs Et D'intensite Pour Piano" and transmutating it into the unique extremity that is Merzbow. The Kouhei tracks are slightly more rhythmic, though somewhat static, DHR-style beat destruction. You might recall his work from the "Upside Down" release on Mille Plateaux to which Merzbow as well as Masonna contributed.
RealAudio clip: MERZBOW "Nakesendow"
RealAudio clip: MATSUNAGA KOUHEI "Garden Of Earthly Delights (Center)"

album cover MERZBOW / PAN SONIC V (Victo) cd 15.98
When is a Noise Record (tm) not a noise record. Well, 'V' is definitely not going to answer that question, because this is unequivocally, without a doubt, a noise record. Most of this sounds like vintage Merzbow. Shards of white noise and digital skree, sheets of feeding back effects processors, a mighty wall of head crushing sound. Good stuff, but nothing we haven't heard a thousand times before. Good thing Pan Sonic were on hand to mix things up a little. But only a little. No real rhythms or beats to be found, but Pan Sonic's rhythmic tendencies do come to the surface about 2/3 of the way through this hour long performance with pulses of white hot static and crunchy digital throbs, but ultimately they quickly dissipate and fade back into the thick wash of this Noise Record (tm).
MPEG Stream: "V"

album cover MERZBOW / THE GUILT OF... split (Chrome Peeler Records) lp 14.98

album cover MERZBOW VS NORDVARGR Partikel (Cold Spring) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Merzbow may be prolific to the point of no return by now, and so you may scoff at yet another release (that makes what, 10 so far this year?) but don't pass this one up. All of us around here have been mildly obsessed with Swedish ambient / noise / drone technician Nordvargr, from his days in the dark-ambient-in black-metal's-clothing outfit MZ412 to his later militaristic folk ensembles Toroidh and Folkstorm. Strangely these two noiseniks make the perfect combination, Japanoise meets Scandanavian power electronics and the result is a crushing slab of low end doom drone dirge. Merzbow created the source material for Nordvargr to process in his inimitably grim fashion. Three lengthy tracks. The first is a spine tinglingly creepy and gut churningly, ominously oppresive rumbling glitchy throb, crumbling slabs of low end over sinister whir and brittle crackling skeletal beats like the scary parts of Tron, or the part in some demonic anime snuff film when you first discover the true face of evil. Track two turns crushing ambient sludge into HUGE crunchy stuttering beats, not just block rocking beats, but beats that flatten entire neighborhoods like Autechre or Aphex twin jamming with Sunn 0))), spare and skittery, wandering through a precarious landscape of hissing blasts of Japanoise and keening squalls of high end iridescence. The final track is clicky, glitchy, haunting almost-IDM filtered through the noxious fumes of demon's breath and dipped in boiling pitch. ominous and frighteningly lovely. One of the best noise / sludge / drone / slow-motion-dance-music-for-demons record of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Tardyon Storm"

album cover MERZBOW VS NORDVARGR Partikel II (Cold Spring) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
The long awaited second installment in the who-knows-how-many-parts Partikel series, which features a collaboration between AQ fave Swedish dark ambient, militant folk, black metal noise technician Nordvargr (Toroidh, MZ412, Folkstorm, Goatvargr, HH9, etc...) and Japanese noise legend Masami Akita aka Merzbow.
Strange bedfellows maybe, but the results here, as on the first installment, are pretty mind-blowing. Akita generated the sounds, Nordvargr took those sounds and twisted them into completely new forms, the result some strange noise/drone/rhythm hybrid that is WAY more listenable than it has any right to be.
The opener sets the tone, a twenty minute crumbling distorted noisescape, like bits of old Merzbow records all chopped up and assembled again Frankenstein's monster fashion, that veers from full on near-metallic crunch, to strange skittery almost IDM, but even at it's calmest, the track is still rife with strange sounds and damaged FX, bursts of harsh noise surfacing here and there amidst an alien landscape of stutters and shuffles, of creaks and squeaks, almost like a black metal Mouse On Mars if one could even imagine such a thing.
The second track sounds heavier on the Nordvargr than the Merzbow, a rumbling shimmering low end, that creeps and drifts before splintering briefly into another rhythmic glitchscape, just as quickly transforming into a buzzing snarling fuzzed out drone, thick and corrosive, subtly rhythmic, but intense and crackling with energy. Deep cavernous tones swell in the background, while above the blurry buzz, strange crunchy electronic pulses mark out a simple static rhythm.
The third track is Part 2 to the opener's Part 1, and takes the openers skitter to a much meaner, much harsher place, a swirling high end cloud of hissing static and keening sine waves, over a relentlessly pulsing backdrop, that changes pitch, and tempo, stuttering and hiccuping, creating a gorgeously confusional rhythmscape, eventually breaking into a near-groove, a loping downtempo slither, but still wrapped in all manner of electronic detritus and squalls of fuzz and crackle and whir.
The closer winds things down with more of a whisper than a scream, the glitchy rhythms are still present, but they are ultra minimal, skeletal, almost like shortwave interference, beneath a tidal swirl of murk and blur, a dark ambient buzz that stretches lazily into long expanses of slow shifting sounds. Over the course of the track, little bits of melody surface here and there, the rhythms get more agitated before drifting back beneath the surface, and mysterious voices surface amidst sparkling sonic glimmers and moaning ambient rumble, a dreamy dark ambient coda to an intense slab of droning skittering buzz and crunch, shimmer and swirl.
Partikel II is IDM for the demon set, a blackened noise drenched skitter, an abstract metallic free-electronica, and a definite droney dancefloor filler, that is if you want your dancefloor filled with shuffling zombies, growling beasts and unspeakable denizens of the underworld...
And who doesn't?!
MPEG Stream: "Reakt 1"
MPEG Stream: "Luxon"

album cover MESA RITUAL Voltaic Processions (Sicksicksick) 3" cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Very excited to come across a new sweet release from aQ fave and experimental guitarist extraordinaire William Fowler Collins! But don't expect the usual soundscaped guitar ambience from WFC this time! Mesa Ritual finds Collins teaming up with another Albuquerque desert dweller, Raven Chacon, for some heavy buzzing, face melting harshness. Cascading swarms of sizzling drones meet distant plumes of rising smoke in the wavering desert heat, as the red sands of the southwest swallow you into ecstatic doom. The label describes the instrumentation as "two large piles of highly magnetic instruments standing too close to each other, yet walking toward you". Huge geologic low end creeps up from the center of the earth as oscillators pulse and hover in mid air. A single track spanning over twenty minutes, the piece ranges from soaring walls of noise and destruction to a subdued eye of the storm, a calm moment of melodic reflection just after the 8 minute mark, that reminds us of a distant William Basinski loop drenched in a fuzzed out haze. But the serenity doesn't last long before the electric bleakness is once again unleashed and only subsides in the final minutes as the micro-epic dwindles like a campfire flame. Totally massive, harsh and somehow beautiful, Voltaic Processions is perfect for fans of the harsher synth stuff happening like Grasslung or Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Needless to say this one is highly recommended by us, but beware, Voltaic Processions comes limited in an edition of 100!
MPEG Stream: "Voltaic Processions"

MESCALITO One Path In A Million (Tummy Touch) cd 16.98
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album cover MESHUGGAH Catch Thirtythree (Nuclear Blast) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "Autonomy Lost"
MPEG Stream: "Imprint Of The Unsaved"
MPEG Stream: "Disenchantment"

MESHUGGAH Chaosphere (Nuclear Blast) cd 14.98
Cyberetic sci-fi Swedish metallers return with this long-awaited full-length, which combines the most brutal vocals and heavy, twisted grooves with some totally off-the wall sounds, particularly in the sometimes almost jazz-fusion guitar department. Some song titles: "New Millenium Cyanide Christ", "The Exquisite Machinery of Torture"...the latter possibly a good description of this band.

album cover MESHUGGAH I (Fractured Transmitter) cd 10.98
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If I was in a technical death metal band, or a technical band of any sort, I think I would absolutely shit my pants every time Meshuggah released a new record. Or played live. Or even walked by me on the street. These guys are so good. And so heavy. It's really scary. Ultra precise riffing, drumming that makes the rest of us drummers wither up and run home to practice, shredding leads that sound like a quadruple neck guitar played by a four armed guitarist, and song structures that require a degree in calculus to unravel. So what do you do when you have out-tech'ed every band in the world? Well, you write a 20 minute song, that is so complex and technical, it's like the death metal version of 40 Agoraphobic Nosebleed songs strung together. But it's not just technical for technical's sake. No, this is definitely a song, granted a long song, with melodies and hooks, and catchy bits. They just all happen to be draped perilously over the churning jagged musical machinery of these Swedish shredders. So fucking good.
MPEG Stream: "I (excerpt)"

album cover MESHUGGAH Nothing (Nuclear Blast) cd 13.98
If you are already a fan of Meshuggah (and why wouldn't you be) then the main question you probably have with their long awaited new record would be, how could they ever top Chaosphere. Well, the answer is simple. They couldn't. Or can't. This is nowhere as good as Chaosphere. But that said, Nothing is a wicked slice of hyper-technical /extremely fucked / rhythmically confusing death metal. Not sure if their recent stint on the Ozzfest and their favor with Jack Osbourne is the cause for the occasional nu-metalisms, but those minor hiccups are only a slight distraction from how fucking unbelievably INSANE this band is. This record is way more midtempo than Chaosphere but there's still plenty of 5/4 and 7/8 and 9/16 to keep all the tech geeks wetting their pants, and totally impossible guitar shredding from axeman Frederik Thornendal to keep the guitar geeks slack-jawed and just enough bounce to keep the nu-metal pit hopping and hopefully, for once, to see a -good- band get some MTV time and some MTV dough. If you aren't already a fan, get Chaosphere and have the way you listen to heavy music changed forever.
RealAudio clip: "Track 1"
RealAudio clip: "Track 2"

album cover MESHUGGAH Obzen (Nuclear Blast) cd 15.98

MESHUGGAH Raretrax (Nuclear Blast) cd 13.98
Collection of odds and ends from these Swedish masters of super-technical death metal. If you've never heard Meshuggah, start with their 'Chaosphere' masterpiece. But if you're already a fan, then this might be of interest. The original 3 song mini lp (originally released in a pressing of 1000 copies) appears for the first time on cd, as does their demos (which vary in quality). Then there are some different mixes as well as a video and a bunch of clips from various tours. Some of this is really good, but some is definitely only for the Meshuggah completist.

MESSAGE From Books And Dreams (Citystudio Media) cd 23.00

album cover MESSAGES Mirage (Root Strata) lp 17.98
The Root Strata label hasn't been as active as they used to be, what with main founder Jefre Cantu-Ledesma living in Europe and then moving back to San Francisco temporarily and now heading to New York to stay awhile... Hopefully they'll get back to a more regular release schedule real soon.
But until then, we got this to deep primitive drone record to tide us over and it's a stunner. Messages is the New York duo of Taketo Shimada & Tres Warren. We never carried their previous recordings, but are now kicking ourselves for not tuning in sooner. Even though Mirage is the third full-length release, this was recorded in 2008 before their first two albums and has remained unreleased until now.
Four long-form excursions with a lyrical pastoral focus using an array of acoustic and electric drone instruments reminding us of like minded wayfarers Taj Mahal Travellers, Deep Listening Band, Date Palms and Portraits. Limited to 500 copies.

album cover MESSES s/t (self-released) cd-r 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Looking for some pretty, hushed, gentle, folksy acoustic pop? Well, the debut cd-r ep by SF's Messes just might hit the spot. Their six songs are very intimate and sensitive singer/songwriterly along the lines of Elliott Smith. The 19-minute cd-r is lovingly packaged in a sewn paper sleeve festooned with bird imagery.
MPEG Stream: "Quiet Voices"
MPEG Stream: "Goodnight Clementine"

MESSIAEN, OLIVIER Oeuvres Pour Piano Et Orchestre (Koch) cd 15.98

album cover MESSIAH II: I Am The Way The Truth And The Life (Labrynth) 2cd-r 22.00

MESSIAH COMPLEX Incomplete Trephination (200mg) 2cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The label calls the music of Messiah Complex "death noise" and who are we to argue? This Scottish one man merchant of deathlike noise offers up two discs, nearly two hours of minimal blackened dronemusic. Multiple songs or pieces or movements, melded into two huge suites.
The first disc is downright lovely, beginning as a breathy shimmery metallic ebb and flow, a gentle pulse, layered drones, fuzzy and indistinct, throb softly in a sea of hiss and barely audible rumble. At one point the track downshifts from the hissy blur into some serious cavernous low end rumble, deeeeeeeeep and darkly ominous, it eventually builds to a wall of crumbling distortion, but quickly subsides and returns to a whirring shimmer.
The second disc takes up right where the first disc left off, albeit a bit more ominously, and with some added noise, some industrial clatter, some reverbed metallic grind, the slow low rumble builds and builds and builds eventually erupting into an awesomely caustic freakout, that almost sounds like THE heaviest part of a Neurosis song, where the vocals are howling the guitars are roaring, that single second stretched into a long blurred blast. It eventually peters out, but in its place surfaces some sort of post industrial metallic Whitehouse sound, huge corrosive shards of jagged sound, walls of feedback, shrieking, moaning tones, a harsh vocal howling over the top. Finally giving way to a roiling backdrop of distorted downtuned crumble, over which guitars drone and whit and buzz and throb, a murky dense stretch of washed out softnoise. Fans of stuff like SUNNO))) and other minimal heaviness might dig this, especially if they're looking for something a bit more harsh and intense, without losing any of its hypnotic droniness.
Packaged in a cool oversized screenprinted cardstock booklet, inside a printed black and white booklet packed with garish shots of bones and skulls in various states of damaged or deformity.
MPEG Stream: "Incomplete Trephination (excerpt)"

METABASS 'N BREATH The Life and Times of a Beatboxer (Bomb Hip-Hop) cd 12.98

METABOLISMUS Mauser Ok (Amish Records) 7" 10.98

album cover METABOLISMUS Spriesswartsdrall (Amish Records) cd 13.98
Krautrock like they used to make, from these modern-day heirs to the glorious kosmiche tradition. The German collective Metabolismus has actually been around since the '80s, but this is only their second domestically released album (available last year on LP, but now on cd). Indeed, most of their other releases have been super-obscure rarities. But with their "Terra Incognita" album released on US label Blackjack a few years back, they turned a few ears around here, and we were excited to see the followup make it to cd. Wonderful, psychedelic stuff, mostly-instrumental explorations, experimental yet pretty, proving that the heyday of Faust and Can and Popul Vuh and Cluster and the like is not forgotten.

album cover METAL BOYS Tokio Airport (Acute Records) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
After wowing fans of underground music a few months back with a long-awaited cd reissue of material by pioneering French punk-industrial act Metal Urbain, the Acute label is back with a sequel -- the 1980 album from Metal Boys, the band that Metal Urbain morphed into after their '78 break-up. After a few years of failed studio sessions and line-up shake-ups and random gigging, that is. But in 1980 leader Eric Debris and co. returned under the guise of Metal Boys with this album. What with the rise of New Wave, perhaps it seemed the the scene had caught up with them, but not entirely -- their music is way more twisted and dissonant and experimental than most New Wave pop that's for sure! And their new incarnation still retained the fuzzed guitars, sci-fi synths, and tick-tock drum programming that made Metal Urbain so great. The biggest difference was their new singer, a woman named China who sang in English not French (which makes some of this sound just a bit sillier than Anglophones might have thought about Metal Urbain). There's 19 tracks here, including 9 previously unreleased bonus tracks, incorporating hints of everything from rockabilly to proto-house to Devo-isms to industrial noise-scapes. Perhaps of special note are the two seven-minute bonus tracks from what was supposed to be an Eric Debris 12" release, truly spaced-out slices of minimalist Geiger-counter disco entitled "Disco Future" and "Outer Space". And maybe they did know something about disco future -- as we said before in our review of Metal Urbain's Anarchy In Paris!, this reissue couldn't be more timely. What these guys were doing 25 years ago is definitely the in sound, now. Sooooo retro-hip. Definitely don't buy any more Liars or Chicks On Speed or The Faint or DFA stuff, or anything like that until you've checked out these originators.
MPEG Stream: "New Malden"
MPEG Stream: "Tokio Airport"

METAL FINGERS (MF DOOM) PRESENTS Special Herbs, Vol. 3 & 4 (Nature Sounds) cd 14.98

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