If you’ve ever wanted to hear something akin to a György Ligeti choral piece being performed on the rim on an active volcano, look no further than this collaboration between two of the most … um, explosive artists of the Japanese underground. Keiji Haino, the guitar god and self-described “bluesman” who sounds like he hails from somewhere around beyond the orbit of Pluto; and Masami Akita, a/k/a Merzbow, whose rumblings and seismic disturbances turn feedback and speaker blowout into art forms unto themselves. Haino’s the master of the monochromatic and mournful; Merzbow covers the ears with a Pollock-splatter of sounds in all spectra. A collaboration between them was bound to be epic in some way.
Pulverized Purple does not disappoint, at least in the sense that it shows both parties doing what they do best and at the fullest possible volume. Come to think of it, “Pulverized” is the right word: it’s the best adjective for what they do to the sounds they create between them, and also what happens to the listener. Akita-the-irresistable-force and Haino-the-immovable-object smash together again and again, grinding the audience into atoms between them. But beyond the obvious my-noise-album-can-beat-up-your-noise-album one-upsmanship, Purple also shows off the more careful and considered sides of both parties: Haino’s eternal straining for some emotion that words and music alone don’t encapsulate, and Akita’s amazing sense of spontaneity and intuitive composition. Read more