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Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Monday, September 27, 2010 - 8:00pm

Merzbow

Masami Akita, laptop + electronics
Balázs Pándi, drums

"Merzbow's position is as the ultimate example, the reference point, for Japanese noise music, and for the consumption of and writing on noise." -Paul Hegarty, Noise/Music: A History

Please join Ars Nova Workshop for a very rare performance by this legend of Japan's noise scene and arguably the most important noise artist, Merzbow!  Tonight Merzbow will be joined by Hungarian drummer Balázs Pándi with an opening set by Charles Cohen.

Tokyo's Masami Akita founded Merzbow, named after Dadaist and Surrealist Kurt Schwitter's work Merzbau, in 1979.  Merzbow initially began as a duo with Kiyoshi Mizutani, and the two began releasing harsh noise cassettes using tape loops, percussion, effects-distorted field recordings, and various applied metals, on their own label called Lowest Music & Arts.  In 1984, Akita founded ZSF Produkt, which became the main outlet for his work, and continued to release limited cassettes until his first digital recording in 1990, Cloud Cock OO Grand.  In less than 35 years, Merzbow has released over 300 CDs, cassettes, and LPs, including the massive 50 CD set, Merzbox.

While many consider his output in the 1990s to be his most abrasive and violent, his work in the 2000s has been marked by the use of drum beats on albums like Merzbeat, Merzbird, and Merzbuddha.  However, this in no way has made his approach to and production of noise any less alienating, brutal, and original.  In the past year, namely from January 2009 to January 2010, Merzbow released one album each month for the 13 CD box-set titled 13 Japanese Birds.  Over the years, Merzbow has collaborated with artists and groups such as Sonic Youth, Sunn O))), Boris, Jim O'Rourke, Keiji Haino, Elliott Sharp, Mike Patton, Carlos Giffoni, Jamie Saft, and John Wiese.  In addition to his massive body of recorded work, Akita works as an editor for several Japanese magazines and has written books on avant-garde art, postmodern culture, and animal rights.  In 2010, PETA nominated him as one of Asia-Pacific's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities.

Hungarian drummer Balázs Pándi has worked across metal, improv jazz, experimental, and rock categories.  He is currently involved in many recording and performance projects - including Blood of Heroes (with Bill Laswell and Justin Broadrick of Jesu and Godflesh), To Live and Shave in L.A (a loose collective of musicians including Andrew WK and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore), and Venetian Snares - and is working with artists such as Lasse Marhaug, Flying Lotus, Attila Csihar (Sunn O))), Mayhem), and Otto Von Schirach.

Charles Cohen
Charles Cohen, Buchla Music Easel

Synthesizer innovator Don Buchla created only 14 of the 200 Series Buchla Music Easels, and Philadelphia artist Charles Cohen has been creating music on one for over 20 years.  Preferring to create music in a live setting rather than in a studio, Cohen has performed with Yanni Papadopoulos of Stinking Lizaveta (Planet Y), The Valerie Project, Shot x Shot, and is ½ of Color is Luxury and Space Elevator. Tonight he makes an extremely rare solo appearance.