Even though you know what to expect from Merzbow, you canâ€™t ignore anything he releases. This time around, there is even historical import to boot. Â Recorded at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Norway, â€śLive at Henie Onstad Art Centreâ€ť was performed for the 2009 exhibition â€ťKurt Schwitters in Norway.â€ť Â For those that need a refresher, Masami Akita has stated often that Schwittersâ€™s odd, idiosyncratic but beautifully random Merzbau sculptureâ€”which eventually took over all the space in his then-homeâ€”was a direct influence on his own early mindset as Merzbow.
Mastered by noise artist/label runner/video artists Lasse Marhaug, Merzbow keeps to what makes him consistently interesting even when you know what to expect. Â Noise, repetitive pulses, loops and loops of hypnotic, powerful, oddly graceful power. Â This is one-hour, forty-minute exploration by Akita, in a place where one of his central artistic inspirations was being celebrated. Â It is hard not to wonder and try to see if you can hear any of that emotion in the piece, any traces of nostalgia or homage. Â Merzbow, like Schwittersâ€™ sculpture, is a continually evolving environment, one that is added to one piece at a time, consuming the space around it. Â â€śLive at Henie Onstad Art Centreâ€ť is an apt soundtrack to a program of tribute, by one uncompromising artists to another.