Masami "#layerz" Akita, better known as Merzbow, is a noise artist from Japan. He's been active since the early 1970s, where he also used to be a drummer in various bands. Since then, he's released ∞ albums under the Merzbow name and continues to regularly release things. He is widely known objectively as the most patrician musician to exist.
Akita emerged from a mountain of rubbish, scrap metal, wire and other refuse in 1956. In high school he played drums in various high school bands, but quit because the other band members didn't have the same xXstraitXedgeXx lifestyle. At university, he majored in art theory and also studied dance.
He's also written books on art, porn, and vegetarianism.
He cites influences from a variety of sources, including grindcore, musique concrete, free jazz, prog rock, animal rights, and BDSM/Japanese bondage.
Early yearsEditMerzbow used to be a group with a total of four members, but they're irrelevant. Guitars, drums, tape loops, junk electronics, vocals are what made these years' sound quite sound collage-like and generally weird. This era is covered in discs 1-35 on the Merzbox.
Not so early yearsEditSooner or later he dumped using shit he found around his house. From about 1990 onwards, Akita-chan used analog equipment and his trusty junk guitar to make fullu blownu noizu. His most well known albums are from this period, including Pulse Demon, Flare Gun, Venereology, and 1930. These years are covered on discs 36-50 of the Merzbox.
Definitely not early yearsEditAround 2001, he moved onto the digital era of the Merzbow project. Using his laptop (presumably running Max/MSP) he makes more full blown noise for most of the time, but also sometimes incorporating free drumming throughout. Albums like Dharma, Door Open at 8 am, and Merzbeat were released around this time.
These really are not early years at allEditSince 2009, Masami has incorporated more drone and psychedelic influences in his music, even including his own voice at one point (wow!!!!). See albums such as Kamadhenu, Yaho-Niwa, and Uzu Me Ku for such stylings.
I heard he also released some box sets or something.Edit
Yes, quite a few of them actually, including four box sets in 2012 alone. Here's a list of the sets he's released.
- Pornoise/1kg (1984) (5hr 2min)
- Metalvelodrome (1994) (4hr 3min)
- Merzbox (2000) (Standard edition: 49hr 54 min - Special edition: 51hr 58min)
- 24 Hours - A Day of Seals (2002) (3hr 37min)
- Timehunter (2003) (1hr 10min)
- Last of Analog Sessions (2004) (2hr 43min)
- Houjoue (2005) (5hr 11min)
- Turmeric (2006) (3hr 23min)
- 13 Japanese Birds (released periodically over Jan 2009-Jan 2010) (Standard edition: 12hr 1min - Ecobag edition: 12hr 40min)
- Merzbient (2010) (Standard edition: 10hr 10min - Expanded: )
- Merzphysics (2012) (8hr)
- Merzmorphosis (2012) (9hr)
- Lowest Music & Arts 1980-1983 (2012) (8hr 8min)
- Duo (2012) (Standard edition: 10hr 30min - Art edition: 11hr 11min)