Merzbow Haino Pandi
The renowned Japanese electronic maestro Merzbow (aka Masami Akita) joins forces with his fellow countryman Keiji Haino and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi on another example of extreme sonic experimentation in the form of An Untroublesome Defencelessness. Merzbow and Pandi, who have been playing together since 2009, push the envelope once again with improv singer and noise guitarist Haino. The resulting sound is a relentlessly intense cauldron of caustic power chording, adrenalized blast beats and double bass drum thunder, and grinding white noise fusillades, courtesy of this fearsome threesome.
While some might call it noise, Merzbow offered this explanation in a New York Times interview: “Noise is the unconscious of music.” Together these three intrepid explorers plumb the depths of the unconscious on An Untroublesome Defencelessness, which is comprised of the three-movement suite “Why is the courtesy of the prey always confused with the courtesy of the hunter?” and the four-part “How different the instructions of the left from the instructions of the right.” And to Pandi, this outing, like all of Merzbow’s singular sonic experiments, remains “music of great mystery.”
Merzbow has found a true kindred spirit in Pandi, who has become a kind of ‘house drummer’ for RareNoiseRecords. “The chemistry between us was there right from the very beginning. Masami has been flirting with the idea of live drums on his shows for a while as he is a drummer himself, but according to him, the metal drummers were too much in the autopilot zone and jazz drummers were not intense enough and couldn’t keep up with volume. My way of playing was fitting his music perfectly, as I play both improvised music that is changing shape all the time and heavy amplified music. We don’t have things anchored, we just have a continuously expanding vocabulary and we pay attention to each other and find immediate hooks in each other’s playing.”
The third member of this formidable triumverate, singer-songwriter-guitarist Keiji Haino, had previously worked with Merzbow under the moniker Kikuri. The idea of collaborating with Keiji on An Untroublesome Defencelessnes goes back to 2010. As Pandi explains, “When Masami and I did a gig in Osaka back then, we threw a couple ideas back and forth and decided that it would be great to try and form a trio with Haino-san. Keiji is like an infinite well of ideas. It’s incredible how he can push music and sounds into new directions. Sounds coming from him have way more qualities than the ones coming from most musicians, as he uses every possible way to alternate sounds and give them extra qualities that people just don’t know about.”
An Untroublesome Defencelessness