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Merzbow - Annica

Who said all Merzbow sounds the same? With its blistering washes of noise careering onwards emitting howls of feedback, the first track here could easily be designated trademark Merzbow. The surprising thing about 'Annica Part 1' is that it features Masami Akita bashing his way around a drum kit, clattering cymbals in a loose improvisatory manner. Harsh noise meets free jazz drumming and one for the chin-strokers. 'Annica Part 2', meanwhile, is a no-nonsense affair where Merzbow turns on the taps to unleash gushing noise and airplane roar. It constantly mutates as he switches noise sources. At points it takes in computerised processing sounds, spacey effects and crunchy textures but it marks a return to the ferocity of his finer noise releases. The directness of 'Annica Part 2' will floor you. The final track is much more varied with its shuddering blasts of noise, firing off shards of processed noise. It's far less forthright than its predecessors but no less effective. Annica is a prime slice of Merzbow; a solid three-tracker marking a triumphant return to harsh noise. For more information go to www.coldspring.co.uk