Merzbow – Recycled (1992)

Look It’s been a good while since I last reviewed a tape (the Electric Wizard one that went up yesterday was written months ago), so seeing as I bought a few recently it’s high time I did some more tape posts. This is my first ever Merzbow purchase and potentially an in-road onto a long slippery slope of trying to collect all his shit. I went through the same fad in 2007 with Agathocles, and failed miserably, but at least with them it is a case of every release being known (not counting bootlegs, of course). Merzbow’s discography is so large that it is said that not even the man himself knows of every release that has been put out. Jesus!

This Recycled tape is an item in a returning trend in tape culture; the dubbing over of old shit tapes. A cheap and easy way to put out music! This was originally a Barbara Streisand tape, which has been butchered and dubbed over with some pulsing and horrible noise. The noise starts off fairly bassy, but gets pretty harsh as things develops. I like the way noise builds and reveals itself; constantly warping and molding itself into new textures, so I’m a bit bummed when other shit cuts through, like random singing and shitty beats. I guess this runs with the Recycled ethic and gives the impression that the music underneath is sneaky through the harsh wall.

This is also probably the loudest tape I own yet; more than likely due to Merzbow’s massive bass frequencies abusing the depth of an analogue format. At one point there is a huge pulsing sound which shook not only my speakers, but my TV stand, sofa and whole floor. The volume wasn’t even particularly high. As far as I can tell, this is Merzbow self-released (2020 edit: its not), and as much as I enjoyed it, there is a million (literally) other Merzbow cuts out there that are so much better.