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Album #347: Boris & Merzbow – 2R0I2P0

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Tokyo, Japan
  • Label: Relapse
  • Best Track: Absolutego

I first heard Japanese project Merzbow when I was about 19, and was fascinated by it for a while because it was the most unmusical music I’d ever heard. Feedback, explosions, chaos – I’ve never quite decided whether I’m into it, but it intrigues me.

Over four decades, Masami Akita has put out a phenomenal number of records. Yesterday (I’m just gone midnight in the UK) saw the release of his eighth collaboration with fellow Tokyo noise merchants Boris – that’s right, these two artists have collaborated on EIGHT LPs, on top of everything else they’ve done individually.

It’s a shame Boris share their name with a prick of a prime minister currently going through the charade of pretending to get a deal with the EU, but their experimental mix of psychedelia and doom metal is worth a listen.

Most of the tracks on this record can be found in Boris’ back catalogue, but these come with a Merzbow makeover. In fact, it’s like they’re engaged in a battle to create melody while Merzbow seeks to drown it out with his abstract, hellish din.

The two parties wrestle for over an hour and a quarter on this record, which perhaps reaches its apex with the faraway yells of ‘Absolutego’.

The best way I can describe 2R0I2P0 is a heavyweight tussle of music vs. noise. You have to train your ears for it, but it’s a fascinating adventure.

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