MERZBOW / ACTUARY: Freak Hallucinations LP Obfuscated Records
Here we have one more release to add to the ever growing (at an alarming rate I may add) discography of Merzbow and this time it’s a split LP with Actuary. Comprising of one 18 minute long track by the former and three other tracks by his latest partner in crime it wasn’t going to take a genius this would be a noisy affair.
Taking Mr Akita’s Merzbow on can sometimes be as equally challenging as it is enjoyable; and until you hit play (or drop the needle in this case), you are never quite sure which side of the coin will land and whether it will be in your favour and ‘Sugamo Flower Festival’ must have been a horrid mass of weeds and thistles, because this is anything but pretty. Safe to say though, in this case as ridiculous as it sounds, there is a method to the unrelenting madness, with the blistering electronics kept to a level that is less torturous than a lot of his noise output and is effectively tempered with PE vocalisations; insane yes, but no less entertaining.
Actuary, if truth-be-told, are an act I haven’t had much exposure to. Over the course of the three tracks on offer, the listener is treated to a cross hybrid of resonating Dark Ambient backdrops and effective Power Electronics massaged brutality. Where a lot of PE wannabes think throwing a collection of noises together is enough to suffice, Actuary, appear to have their heads screwed on right. With every element pitched at just the right level, as not to out-do any particular cause, there is little to pick between the songs on display; but when they’re done well, there is little to grumble about.
All in all, this is a tidy addition to any self-respecting true industrial fans collection, with a complimentary blend of output from two artists who’s opposing styles make unlikely yet in some respects, obvious bedfellows.