Merzbow - Turmeric (Blossoming Noise 4xCD)
Masami Akita "returns" (okay he never really goes away) with one of his best blasts in recent memory, which is really a big compliment for me because I'm a fan of pretty much anything he puts out. But this one is something special, and not just because the limited edition version comes in a Merzbow lunchbox (don't even bother - wayyy sold out). Whereas 2005 saw Merzbow increasingly embrace his rhythmic side previously hinted at in the "Merz-" series of albums ("Merzbeat", "Merzzow", etc), this one goes the other way entirely. All four discs of this hulking behemoth feaure low, scuzzy, sludgy pulsators that will either rock your block or have you wimpering in terror. Most cuts generally feature something to anchor the piece - the sound of thudding drums or samples of Merzbow's chickens, for example. Then Merzbow builds tons of black forest layers atop these foundations to create an impressive, intimidating throb. Perhaps it's because the majority of the songs are titled with a "black" prefix ("Black Bone", "Black Blood", "Black Flesh") but this comes across as the most menacing Merzbow album in quite some time. If you thought last year's flirtations with IDM and techno put you off Merzbow for good, spin a couple of songs from "Turmeric" and see if you don't reconsider. It's not the harshest or most abstract Merzbow recording ever, but I'd at least consider it one of his most mature and well-composed.