Sunday, June 3, 2007


Be alert for all noise hungers out there, here comes "Minazo Vol. 1" by the prolific Japanese Noise master, Masami Akita or better known as Merzbow. This CD is a tribute to the beloved male elephant seal (named Minazo) who lived life in captivity at a Tokyo aquarium. Masami Akita often visited Minazo at the aquarium and was allowed to access the seal behind the scenes. As Masami Akita said in the CD's inner sleeve, Minazo has died at 5:15 pm on October 4th, 2005. Minazo was 11 years old at the time and however still young for an elephant seal whose life expectancy is 20 years on average. Minazo was raised at the Enoshima Aquarium in Kanagawa Prefecture with a strong build, 5 meters in height and 2 tons in weight and was the only male elephant seal in Japan. As added by Masami Akita himself, Minazo to be known was brought to Japan from Uruguay in 1995. His name, which consists of three kanji characters meaning "beautiful", "male", and "elephant", was chosen from 1500 public suggestions. This CD also includes many phototographs and an essay by Masami Akita as well as illustrations by Jenny Akita. This piece of gold being released in last year by Important Records that also put out releases by well known musicians such as Acid Mothers Temple, Muslimgauze, Keiji Haino, Earth, Alec Empire, Boris, The Dresden Dolls and even a double CD of spoken words by Noam Chomsky entitled "War Crimes And Imperial Fantasies".

Okay, back to the CD, "Minazo Vol. 1" for me is one of the important releases by Merzbow. So, any self acclaimed Merzbow fans out there should own this CD as it has directly captured the expressive feeling of Masami Akita towards one of the endangered species that was living in fearful and died by human cruelties. Masami Akita himself also have said, "Whatever the cause of death, I feel sad and angry each time I hear about animals dying in captivity far away from their natural habitat". As for myself, I've bought this CD from 'YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!' on the night of March 9th, 2007 at the Annexe, Central Market by the time Boris Baltschun from Germany was performing his ever so wicked Experimental Noise set that was just like Merzbow itself. "Minazo Vol. 1" is a perfect bedtime (and almost anytime!) tune for me since the first time it has been annihilating my ears. It contained 4 ear bleeding tracks with self definitive 'song' title like "Land Of Sea Mammal", "Sea Breeze", "Voices From The Sea" and "Destructive Funeral". Yes, you can click at these two titles and hear the sound sample at your own risk. However these sounds are most likely cathartic and somewhat compiling the anger side of self according to the injustice that occurred on which I'm not really sure whether it works well for anybody else. But I do. Thank you.

Masami Akita (Merzbow) in front of the Buddha temple.

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