It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Merzbow

There is no need to argue: Merzbow stands as the most important artist in noise music. The favorite moniker of Japan's Masami Akita appears on hundreds of albums. The name comes from German artist Kurt Schwitters' famous work Merzbau, which he also called The Cathedral of Erotic Misery. Akita's choice reflects his fondness for junk art (through Schwitters' collage method) and his fascination with ritualized eroticism, namely in the form of fetishism and bondage. All these elements constitute the Merzbow persona.

Akita was born in Tokyo in 1956. He grew up with psychedelic rock and began to play the guitar in progressive rock cover bands, in particular with drummer Kiyoshi Mizutani, who would remain a frequent collaborator. After high school, Akita studied literature and visual arts in college. There he discovered free jazz and studied seriously the ideas of Dada and the surrealists (Salvador Dali remained a big influence). Akita gradually withdrew himself from the rock scene and began experimenting in his basement with broken tape recorders and feedback.

In 1979, Akita created his own cassette label, Lowest Arts & Music, and released the first of many albums, Metal Acoustic Music. Infiltrating the then-burgeoning network of underground industrial music, Merzbow lined up one cassette after another, packaged in Xeroxed collage art. His harsh noise eschewed the primitive anger found in this scene (Throbbing Gristle, Man Is the B**tard) to reach a Zen state, a calm inside the storm. Mizutani occasionally appeared on some of the raw material, as would other musicians (like Reiko.A), but in essence Merzbow is Akita. The artist made low-budget live appearances in Tokyo, but his main focus remained on his art production and his writing (he is erudite in 20th century art and the Japanese tradition of bondage).

In 1983, Akita's first LP, Material Action 2 (NAM), was released on Chaos/Eastern Works in Japan. Out of the mail-art network and into the specialty record shops, Merzbow began to attract some eyes and ears. Akita started a second label, ZSF Produkt, which put out dozens of 7"s, EPs, LPs, and more cassettes. By the late '80s, other record labels had begun to pay interest, namely the Australian Extreme. Collaborative (1988), an LP recorded with Achim Wollscheid, brought the Merzbow sound to more international listeners, and slowly Akita invaded other territories. By the mid-'90s, his reputation verged on the mythical. He toured Europe and the U.S., and had high(er)-profile releases on Extreme, RRR, and Alchemy.

In 1997, Extreme announced it was putting in production a 50-CD box set, Merzbox. It was finally released three years later. It includes 30 reissues dating as far back as 1979, and 20 discs' worth of unreleased material, and remains the biggest musical statement in the history of noise. More widely available albums for Alien8 Recordings (Aqua Necromancer, 1998) and Tzadik (1930, 1998), combined with constant worldwide touring, have taken the artist out of mythical status and propelled him into the legendary. In the late '90s, Akita started to collaborate with other artists outside the Merzbow moniker, namely with Mike Patton (as Maldoror) and Otomo Yoshihide. Both a prolific composer and performer, Akita continued his string of Merzbow releases into the next century, including Frog (2001), V (2003), Merzbird (2004), the two-volume set Minazo (2006), Merzbear and Synth Destruction (2007), Dolphin Sonar (2008), and the multi-volume 13 Japanese Birds series issued monthly between January 2009 and January 2010. He followed this massive undertaking with Another Merzbow Records, released by the U.K's Dirtier Promotions imprint in April of 2010. Ever prolific, and with a huge backlog of archival material, Akita released ten collections in 2011, as well as an additional four live sets, and four more albums appeared in 2012, along with the box sets Merzphysics and Merzmorphosis.

The following year saw Merzbow issue a number of important live and studio albums on his own and in collaboration with other artists -- a total of ten. Among them were Live at Molde International Jazz Festival on Smalltown Supersound, Katowice, a concert in Poland with Balázs Pándi, Cat's Squirrel with Oren Ambarchi, Partikel III with Nordvargr, and No Closure with Scott Miller and Lee Camfield, as well as the solo studio dates Tamayodo and Kookaburra. Uncharacteristically, 2014 saw the release of a lone recording, a self-titled split with Full of Hell on Profound Lore. (He spent most of the year writing and taking photographs.)

Merzbow was back to recording in earnest for a number of labels during 2015. In addition to solo offerings including Nezumimochi, Wildwood, and Konchuuki, there were notable collaborative offerings with Askew (Level), Akira Sakata, Jim O'Rourke, and Chikamorachi (Flying Basket), and Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper with Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, and Pandi that appeared on Rare Noise.

Merzbow also resumed his collaborative relationship with Boris when the two acts played together at Fever. In 2016, Gensho appeared on Relapse. The album's first disc featured drumless recordings by Boris, mostly re-recordings of earlier songs, as well as a cover of My Bloody Valentine's "Sometimes." The second disc was a new studio recording by Merzbow, intended to be played simultaneously with Boris' disc (the two are the same length). The Japanese issue of the album on Daymare included Gensho at Fever 11272015, a double-live album of their joint concert performance. In addition, as Masami Akita, he released the duo album Kouen Kyoudai with Japanese composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Eiko Ishibashi on Thrill Jockey in spring of the following year, and An Untroublesome Defencelessness with drummer Pandi and guitarist Keiji Haino on Rare Noise during the summer. ~ François Couture
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Arijigoku

1. Arijigoku_track_1

2. Arijigoku_track_2

3. Arijigoku_track_3

4. Arijigoku_track_4

x

Track List: Sun Baked Snow Cave

1. Sun Baked Snow Cave

x

Track List: Merzbuddha

1. Mantra 1

2. Mantra 2

3. Mantra 3

x

Track List: Sphere

1. Sphere Pt. 1

2. Sphere Pt. 2

3. Sphere Pt. 3

4. Untitled For Vasteras

x

Track List: Animal Magnetism

x

Track List: Dharma

1. I'm Coming To The Garden... No Sound, No Memory

2. Akashiman

3. Piano Space For Marimo Kitty

4. Frozen Guitars And Sunloop / 7E 802

x

Track List: Tauromachine

1. Cannibalism Of Machine

2. Emission

3. Soft Water Rhinoceros

4. Minotauros

5. Heads Of Clouds

6. Untitled Nude Pulse

7. Wounded Cycad Dub

x

Track List: 1930

1. Intro

2. 1930

3. Munchen

4. Degradation Of Tapes

5. Iron, Glass, Blocks & White Lights

x

Track List: Pulse Demon

1. Woodpecker No. 1

2. Woodpecker No. 2

3. Spiral Blast

4. My Station Rock

5. Ultra Marine Blues

6. Tokyo Times Ten

7. Yellow Hyper Balls

8. Worms Plastic Earthbound

x

Track List: Venereology

1. Ananga-Ranga

2. Klo Ken Phantasie

3. I Lead You Towards Glorious Times

4. Slave New Desart

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Man...this is probably loud as hell live!!!
Report as inappropriate
have Merzy on me
Report as inappropriate
All noise music is not the same.

There is a very distinct difference from Merzbow and other noise artists.

Listen to Wolf Eye. Tell me they sound the same as Merzbow.

Listen to James Tenney. Tell me he's 'just noise' too.

Listen to Whitehouse. Tell me it's still the same 'nonsense'.

It doesn't matter to me. I listen to the entire universe of music. I am not bound by musical conventions regarding structure and popularity and melody.
Report as inappropriate
Quiet Men is making me claw at the skin on my face, I want to tear it off.
Report as inappropriate
These tracks DO sound like noise! You're right!
Report as inappropriate
so many of the tracks sound the same- like white noise...but there are a few that are oddly intriguing, like a horribly gory wound from which I can't look away
Report as inappropriate
Do I hear sheep?
Report as inappropriate
Why is the bio for Merzbow actually Boris' bio? Was it confusing due to their multiple collaboratio n s that these are two completely different acts?
Report as inappropriate
colinmgonzal e s
That's all you've got? 10 albums out the possible 500 this one man has put out over the last 30-something years? At least get the Merzbox on here.
Report as inappropriate
Oh I remember how we used to LAUGH and DANCE to this music!
Report as inappropriate
there is no need to argue-a computer and power tools-and anyone can release a cd every five minutes.oh ! tha's right somebody has done that and he GOES BY THE NAME - MERZBOW...
Report as inappropriate
sycojib
White Noise from a television is what I remember from Merzbow from a few years back.
Report as inappropriate
This guy makes all other bands look like lazy motherf**ker s . This isn't even a fraction of what he has released.
Report as inappropriate
rob.zebeck
one of the most important artists working in any medium in history
Report as inappropriate
I have heard a lot of noise in my years. Since the late 80's I have enjoyed creating and listening to other artists. It was just a month ago that I started listening to Merzbow...Ca n ' t get enough.
Report as inappropriate
that merzbow is a sexy a** b**ch
Report as inappropriate
dental drilling/ root canal
Report as inappropriate
Today i have heard my first ever Merzbow recording: "Quiet Men" from Animal Magnetism. Thank you, Pandora! (to be frank, it hasn't changed my life...it sounds like stuff I've done in my own home in the '90s, but it's nice to know that I do have such a kindred spirit way across the ocean in Mr. Akita).
Report as inappropriate
merzbow will kick your a**
Report as inappropriate
Merzbow is the only artist, of any type, that has been life-changin g for me. I feel as though I didn't even know what art was before hearing Merzbow. Truly inspiring.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[127, 67, 103, 124, 93, 67, 70, 100, 87, 65, 109, 100, 87, 95, 78, 102, 65, 116, 75, 123, 121, 112, 123, 105, 75, 109, 125, 120, 120, 101, 124, 97, 94, 102, 79, 90, 79, 123, 114, 94, 106, 75, 122, 92, 121, 107, 74, 79, 78, 99, 91, 85, 85, 66, 78, 75, 97, 127, 124, 104, 101, 89, 118, 120, 123, 123, 84, 114, 97, 111, 94, 126, 110, 119, 77, 113, 66, 119, 94, 108, 109, 114, 110, 72, 93, 127, 93, 96, 87, 77, 124, 75, 75, 121, 110, 91, 121, 120, 91, 68, 118, 74, 73, 75, 121, 69, 123, 87, 117, 81, 70, 101, 69, 105, 97, 95, 115, 126, 105, 67, 82, 77, 124, 122, 73, 111, 78, 105, 93, 89, 86, 66, 90, 66, 123, 71, 67, 111, 107, 91, 121, 67, 102, 122, 75, 75, 102, 105, 111, 101, 117, 124, 92, 121, 86, 100, 81, 85, 120, 79, 74, 68, 73, 87, 97, 92, 127, 123, 116, 119, 74, 70, 74, 78, 69, 122, 126, 109, 94, 95, 78, 89, 111, 109, 75, 80, 91, 95, 64, 71, 85, 102, 74, 78, 68, 89, 127, 102, 69, 96, 100, 76, 102, 80, 121, 125, 119, 117, 87, 77, 115, 67, 126, 101, 87, 91, 91, 122, 122, 95, 80, 105, 102, 105, 93, 65, 94, 120, 65, 67, 79, 123, 95, 76, 88, 121, 90, 65, 89, 83, 124, 114, 64, 82, 86, 89, 126, 68, 98, 87, 125, 96, 64, 120, 118, 79, 107, 126, 97, 87, 80, 116, 80, 81, 77, 85, 101, 114, 115, 98, 73, 102, 110, 65, 127, 93, 98, 93, 69, 95, 115, 123, 74, 114, 93, 64, 89, 127, 106, 110, 112, 95, 82, 110, 82, 86, 96, 126, 106, 110, 93, 105, 104, 94, 121, 92, 66, 76, 95, 119, 118, 90, 101, 78, 70, 121, 64, 112, 68, 110, 103, 65, 99, 64, 74, 104, 71, 109, 108, 91, 120, 64, 110, 117, 94, 124, 94, 64, 106, 124, 80, 77, 90, 74, 66, 82, 120, 77, 102, 74, 117, 72, 80, 127, 103, 109, 96, 67, 111, 101, 68, 105, 71, 99, 74, 127, 98, 95, 65, 103, 122, 68, 122, 80, 108, 90, 82, 100, 71, 88, 72, 106, 114, 82, 89, 117, 127, 127, 102, 94, 96, 74, 119, 64, 76, 79, 64, 70, 66, 90, 76, 97, 90, 92, 65, 108, 70, 101, 95, 75, 66, 70, 70, 122, 93, 87, 94, 90, 91, 90, 70, 73, 95, 108, 95, 117, 111, 120, 82, 112, 127, 98, 96, 125, 119, 107, 102, 94, 111, 88, 77, 75, 124, 122, 81, 111, 89, 126, 104, 103, 74, 116, 107, 102, 104, 68, 75, 126, 102, 88, 74, 77, 83, 122, 110, 104, 92, 115, 104, 76, 95, 120, 99, 76, 116, 87, 111, 119, 69, 120, 108, 94, 122, 101, 80, 98, 122, 70, 117, 71, 101, 101, 112, 89, 87, 70, 99, 83, 100, 97, 76, 71, 96, 116, 117, 123, 87, 76, 118, 116, 79, 93]