Two key noise artists join forces.
Merzbow is one of noise music’s great forces, but he has so many records that it’s hard to know where to begin. His collaborations are a good entry point, taking his sheets of noise and transplanting them into more approachable contexts. His latest partnership, with the Posh Isolation artist Vanity Productions (himself a leader of the Danish noise scene), is a good example. On the environmentally themed Coastal Erosion, whose biting bursts of noise could be heard as a dire warning, the two artists duel over surprisingly lush backdrops that mimic the calm and violence of ocean shorelines.
Vanity Productions, real name Christian Stadsgaard, is also a member of Damien Dubrovnik, a noise duo whose work has taken turns towards the bright and melodic in recent years. You can hear that influence in the gorgeous “Erosion Japan,” where pads decay and fracture beneath white-hot lashings of noise. Where “Erosion Japan” is dynamic, “Erosion Denmark” is droning, its shimmering backdrop sounding like a spirited set of Tibetan singing bowls. Both tracks are abrasive and demanding, but there’s a musicality sometimes missing from Merzbow’s most punishing solo work. The music benefits from the contrast, as two unique figures help each other find new sounds to make.
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