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Masami Akita

Masami Akita

Masami Akita


The man behind the legendary Japanoise project, Merzbow. He has released over 300 CDs, LPs and cassettes since the early 1980s. BIOGRAPHY Masami Akita was born in Tokyo in 1956. He began his career in music at age 15 as a drummer in a high school band. At the time he listened to psychedelic music, progressive rock and later free jazz, and all have influenced his music. Later he went to Tamagawa University to study art. It was there that he learned of Kurt Schwitters' Merz Read more on Last.fm
The man behind the legendary Japanoise project, Merzbow. He has released over 300 CDs, LPs and cassettes since the early 1980s. BIOGRAPHY Masami Akita was born in Tokyo in 1956. He began his career in music at age 15 as a drummer in a high school band. At the time he listened to psychedelic music, progressive rock and later free jazz, and all have influenced his music.

Later he went to Tamagawa University to study art. It was there that he learned of Kurt Schwitters' Merz, or art made from rubbish, including Schwitters' Merzbau, or "Merz building". This is the source of the name Merzbow. Music: The Early days His earliest music was made with tape loops and creatively recorded percussion and metal, and has been compared to Throbbing Gristle and Nurse With Wound (an acknowledged influence). Early methods included what he referred to as "Material Action", in which he would closely amplify small sounds so as to distort them through the microphone; later, he made several albums of "SCUM" ("Scissors for Cutting Up Merzbow"/"Society for Cutting Up Merzbow"), for which he would cut up previous Merzbow albums until they resembled something new.

His tendency to work in themed phases recalls his training as a visual artist. He released his music on cassettes through his own record label, Lowest Music & Arts, which was founded in 1979. In the early 1980s, after meeting the Italian avant-gardist noise artist Maurizio Bianchi/M. B. in Milan, he founded a second label, ZSF Produkt. Later recordings He later began to use more electronic instruments and electric guitars, but his music still consisted of what most people would think of as "noise".

In the past few years, Merzbow has begun to use digital technology more in his music. At a live performance these days, it is normal for him to produce all his music with two laptop computers, or combination of a laptop and analog synthesizers. In 2000, the Extreme record label released Merzbox, a 50 CD set of Merzbow records, 20 of them not previously released, which ranged chronologically from his very first recording in 1979 as Merzbow (unavailable until this box set was released) to 1997. The set also included stickers, postcards, poster, "merzdallion", book, CD-ROM, and T-shirt; initial copies included extra posters and double album. In 2002, he released Merzbeat; which was seen as a significant departure from his trademark abstract style in that it contains beat-oriented pieces. This has sparked some controversy among fans, though some older Merzbow recordings, including some discs from the Merzbox, are also rhythmically focused.

Still, the album was more so than anything Merzbow released in the past 10 or 15 years, and was more widely available than the earlier recordings. 2004's Merzbird and 2005's Merzbuddha followed in a similar vein. Though his albums have frequently moved in themed stages (such as a group of synth-based albums, one of 'collage' music, one based on samples of rock and jazz records), Merzbow's most recent phase has an added political dimension, being explicitly related to animal rights and similar themes. An example of this is Minazo Vol.

1 and Vol. 2, dedicated to an elephant seal he visited often at the zoo, and Bloody Sea, a protest against Japanese whaling. He has even produced several works centered around recordings of his pet chickens (notably Animal Magnetism and Turmeric). Collaborations Merzbow began as the duo of Masami Akita and Kiyoshi Mizutani (who has become an accomplished composer in his own right). Early collaborators include Japanese artists such as Reiko A., S-Core, Agencement, and most productively K.

Kishino, aka KK Null of the bands YBO2, ANP and Zeni Geva. For studio recordings, Merzbow continued to be Akita alone, but for most of the late 1980s through the 1990s, Merzbow live was a trio including Reiko A. on electronics and Bara on voice and dance. Currently, Merzbow live is simply Akita alone again. Some other artists who have collaborated with Merzbow include Zbigniew Karkowski (for a duo called MAZK), Consumer Electronics, extreme computer musician and visual artist Russell Haswell, Total, Genesis P-Orridge, Alec Empire, Mike Patton, Pan Sonic, Le Syndicat, Masonna, Smegma, Jazzkammer, Slugbait, P16.D4, Howard Stelzer, Achim Wollschied/SBOTHI, The New Blockaders, The Haters, Chris Sienko, Kapotte Muziek, Elliott Sharp, Emil Beaulieau, John Goff, Jim O'Rourke, John Hudak, Heiko Daxl, Jowonio Productions, Kim Cascone, Richard Ramirez, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Kapotte Muziek, and recently Sunn O))) and Boris -- among many others.

Merzbow has also appeared on the Ulver remix/compilation album 1993-2003- First Decade in the Machines, submitting the song "Vow Me Ibrzu". He has played drums for Hijo Kaidan and Bustmonsters, and has been a member of the bands Crystal Fist and Flying Testicle. He has been the subject of several "remix" albums and at least one tribute album. Writings Akita is also a prolific author. He has written books and articles mostly on topics typically labeled "subculture" or "deviant" -- noise music itself, for instance, or Japanese bondage (some notes on which appear in his Music for Bondage Performance albums).

His book Noise War is considered a detailed and respectable summary of the noise-music movement through the Eighties, although it is not available in English. Source: Wikipedia.org Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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