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Boris + Merzbow = Gensho

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  • Boris + Merzbow = Gensho

    Press release. Radness!

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    Renowned Japanese innovators BORIS and MERZBOW have teamed up with Relapse for their new collaborative 2xCD/4xLP Gensho, one of the artists' most daring works to date. Named after the Japanese word for “phenomenon,” Gensho is a unique release featuring over one-hundred-and-fifty minutes of new music spread across two CDs and four LPs (available as two separate double LP sets or a deluxe 4xLP edition).

    The BORIS songs are percussion-less reinventions of classic tracks from the band's storied catalog, while MERZBOW's tracks are entirely new compositions. The two sets are intended to be played at the same time at varying volumes so that the listener can experience their own “gensho/phenomenon” every time. The artists also commented, “of course you can enjoy both albums as a separate work.”

    As with every BORIS and MERZBOW collaboration, the only thing to expect is the unexpected, lending the album near-infinite potential for aural discovery and encouraging direct interactivity with the listener rarely found in such unconventional music. An untouchable paroxysm of noisy, droning experimentation! Gensho is due out worldwide this coming March 18th via Relapse Records.

    A live music video of the two artist's performing the song's “Huge” and “Planet Of The Cows” together can be viewed HERE while a trailer of new music can be viewed HERE. Physical preorders are available via Relapse AT THIS LOCATION, and digital preorders can be found at Bandcamp HERE.

    Though BORIS and MERZBOW have an extensive history of collaborating with one another, this latest effort was born out of a one-off show in 2014 for Boiler Room TV, when the two acts decided that their set from that day was worthy enough to perform in the context of a proper studio recording. A complete track listing is included below.

    Gensho Track Listing:

    Boris - Farewell (Disc 1)
    2. Boris - Huge (Disc 1)
    3. Boris - Resonance (Disc 1)
    4. Boris - Rainbow (Disc 1)
    5. Boris - Sometimes (Disc 1)
    6. Boris - Heavy Rain (Disc 1)
    7. Boris - Akuma No Uta (Disc 1)
    8. Boris - Akirame Flower (Disc 1)
    9. Boris - Vomitself (Disc 1)
    10. Merzbow - Planet of the Cows (Disc 2)
    11. Merzbow - Goloka Pt.1 (Disc 2)
    12. Merzbow - Goloka Pt.2 (Disc 2)
    13. Merzbow - Prelude to a Broken Arm (Disc 2)

    BORIS will also be performing live at Levitation Fest in Austin, Texas this coming April. More info on upcoming live dates coming soon.


    4/29 - 5/01/2016 Levitation Fest - Austin, TX

    Both BORIS and MERZBOW are well known for numerous collaborative works with a plethora of artists, but have been working together since 1997. They have released three studio albums together (Megatone, Sun Baked Snow Cave and Klatter), two live albums (04092001 and Rock Dream) and one 12″ EP (Walrus/Groon). Musically, BORIS helps to shape MERZBOW's wall of noise as a composed musical score with structure, and to make it easier to access the noise master's music while MERZBOW adds an extreme high frequency to BORIS's signature heavier sound.

    BORIS is a Japanese experimental metal/rock band. Currently, the band's personnel consists of drummer-vocalist Atsuo, bassist-guitarist-vocalist Takeshi, and guitarist-vocalist Wata. BORIS takes its name from a song on the Melvins' Bullhead, and released its first album, Absolutego, on the group's own label, Fangs Anal Satan, in 1996. Since then, the band has released twenty-three studio albums, including Pink, Heavy Rocks and Akuma No Uta, and a number of EPs, 7″ singles, and full-length collaborative recordings, on various record labels around the world.

    Masami Akita, better known by his stage name MERZBOW, is a Japanese noise musician. Since 1981, he has released over four-hundred recordings. The name MERZBOW comes from German dada artist Kurt Schwitters' artwork, Merzbau, where Schwitters transformed the interior of his house using found objects. This was chosen to reflect Akita's dada influence and junk art aesthetic. In addition to this, Akita has cited a wide range of musical influences from progressive rock, heavy metal, free jazz, and early electronic music to non-musical influences like Dadaism and surrealism. Since the early 2000s, he has been inspired by animal rights and environmentalism. In 2000, Extreme Records released the fifty-CD box set known as the Merzbox. Akita's work has been the subject of several remix albums and at least one tribute album. This, among other achievements, has helped MERZBOW to be regarded by some as the “most important artist in noise”.

    BORIS is:
    Takeshi - vocals, guitar, bass
    Wata - vocals, guitar, echo
    Atsuo - vocal, percussion, electronics

    MERZBOW is:
    Masami Akita - electronics

    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  • #2
    Rock! Shock! Pop!


    • #3


      • #4
        I use to trade videos with Merzbow. I would send him Jamie Gillis scat videos & he'd send me Japanese S&M. I saw him performance once with his laptop & he blew the PA minutes into his set.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
          That is some completely fucking amazing, mind melting stuff right there. I think I'm in love. Only thing is, how do you actually listen to this in headphones without destroying your hearing forever?


          • #6
            Another thing, and pardon my ignorance on the matter: When completely computerized musicians do live performances, what is it they actually do besides pressing the Play button on their laptop?


            • #7
              watching people sit at a computer is a pretty shitty show. only been at one and getting trashed was more entertaining.

              i'm sure someone can pull off a good show but i have not seen one in person. had a Merzbow VHS a long time ago and he was just sitting behind a table with his setup.

              very boring


              • #8
                With laptop performances, I think I've read about programs that allow sound to be processed on the fly. I'm not 100% sure about that though. But yeah, either way, it's boring. Merzbow has computerized graphics running behind him when I saw him perform.

                I like the Merzbow performances in this starting around 28 minutes:

                The first is he & his wife then him on stage in an abandoned building. Love the scrap metal bashing.

                There's a performance by Incapacitants on the side of a mountain in the link, too, that is pretty incredible.
                Senior Member
                Last edited by Keeth; 02-29-2016, 01:06 PM.


                • #9
                  From my quick scan, looks like Merzbow's returning to more analog gear. Maybe this has been a thing for a while. I kinda stopped paying attention around 2000 or so (to new stuff, kept going for the old albums).


                  • #10
                    When I saw him it was just laptop press play. Doesn't bother me as this stuff is really closer to modern compositional music than anything else. Would be cool if he has returned to analog stuff though.

                    Once saw the great minimalist electronic composer Gunter Muller in concert and he said that he wasn't going to pretend to be doing anything and just sit at his computer so he hit 'play' and then sat down with us in the audience. Thought that was honest and awesome.

                    On a similar tip I was lucky enough to hear on of Stockhausen's electronic pieces in concert, it was a reel sent to the university and it was played through their quadraphonic sound system in the concert hall. It was great but obviously very different from a live performance.


                    • #11
                      New Boris live video. Also tour dates.

                      BORIS - ON TOUR:
                      October 3 Fresno, CA @ Strummers *
                      October 4 Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's *
                      October 6 Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall ^
                      October 7 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's ^
                      October 8 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre ^
                      October 9 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge ^
                      October 11 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent ^
                      October 12-14 Joshua Tree, CA @ Institute of Mentalphysics (Desert
                      Daze Fest)
                      October 14 Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole %
                      October 16 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall %
                      October 17 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater %
                      October 19 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre %
                      October 20 Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room %
                      October 21 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club +
                      October 22 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall +
                      October 23 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall +
                      October 25 Detroit, MI @ El Club +
                      October 26 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop +
                      October 27 Millvale, PA @ Mr Smalls +
                      October 28 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer +
                      October 29 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live! (Days of Darkness)
                      October 31 Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall =
                      November 1 Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw =
                      November 4 Durham, NC @ Motorco =
                      November 5 Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse =
                      November 7 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade, Hell Stage =
                      November 8 Nashville, TN @ Exit / In =
                      November 9 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn $
                      November 10 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks $
                      November 10-12 McDade, TX @ Sound on Sound Fest
                      November 14 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister +
                      November 15 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom #
                      November 17 San Diego, CA @ Casbah #
                      November 18 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex #

                      * w/ Endon
                      ^ w/ Sumac, Endon
                      % w/ Subrosa, Endon
                      + w/ Helms Alee, Endon
                      = w/ Mutoid Man, Endon
                      $ w/ Thou, Endon
                      # w/ Torche, Endon
                      Rock! Shock! Pop!


                      • #12
                        Rock! Shock! Pop!


                        • #13
                          Rock! Shock! Pop!


                          • #14
                            BORIS DROP TWO-SONG CHRISTMAS RELEASE 'NOí‹L'
                            Out now on Sacred Bones via Bandcamp
                            - Includes “Pardon? (Lauren Auder & Dviance rework)" and “Last Christmas (Boris version)”

                            Today Boris have shared a two-track Christmas single entitled 'Noí«l', released via Sacred Bones and available exclusively through Bandcamp. The release includes a striking rework of Boris track “Pardon?” by Lauren Auder and Dviance, as well as Boris' take on the Wham! festive classic, “Last Christmas”.

                            Boris' 'New Album' celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and 'Noí«l' sees the delicate crescendo of “Pardon?” given an ethereal, airy rework by London-based singer-songwriter Lauren Auder and French producer Dviance. Auder's haunting vocals tie with crisp beats and layered strings to create a rich and elegant take on the original track.

                            Speaking on the rework, the band comment: “When Lauren Auder replied to our post and told us 'I love this album very much,' we were very excited. We really like Lauren's voice, atmosphere, music and video work. We replied back that we would like to work together someday soon. 'New Album' is an album that has received various criticisms before, however, like Lauren, we also happen to love this album very much. Now, ten years later, we have asked Lauren to sing a new interpretation from it.”

                            Lauren adds: "I've been a long-time fan of Boris's work and 'New Album' has been particularly influential on my musical style. When this came up, Atsuo from the band proposed I take a shot at making a new version of the track. I was at the time working on my debut full length with my long-time co-writer Dviance and knowing how much he has also been inspired by Boris's work it only made sense for us to work on this one together. I'm extremely excited for this to have come together and hoping to continue this collaboration in the future."

                            The second track on the single sees Boris wrap the Wham! festive hit “Last Christmas” in swathes of dense sound, making for a powerfully celestial cover.

                            The band explain: “This is a Christmas present for everyone who lives with the various restrictions stemming from COVID-19. Here in Japan, it is customary to give gifts at Christmas. We hope this Christmas will be the 'Last Christmas' of COVID-19.”

                            Both tracks are available exclusively through Bandcamp today here:

                            The single follows the recent news that Boris have signed to Sacred Bones and will be releasing their new album'W' on January 21st.

                            'Noí«l' track list:
                            1. Pardon? (Lauren Auder and Dviance rework)
                            2. Last Christmas

                            'Noí«l' artwork:

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                            More about Lauren Auder:
                            Lauren Auder is a 23 year old London based singer/songwriter. Over three EPs she has crafted her distinctive style of baroque pop pulling from anything between 70s orchestral stylings to art rock through modern ambient and noise. She is currently working on her debut album to be released next year.

                            More about Dviance:
                            Dviance is a 24 year old french producer and composer bringing together elements of metal, witch house and minimalist classical music. He has co-written with long time collaborator Lauren Auder on all 3 of her EPs and released his debut full length “Fables” earlier this year.

                            More about Boris:
                            Boris formed in 1992 and eventually arrived at the band's current lineup of Takeshi, Wata, and Atsuo into 1996. In the 29 years since, Boris has tirelessly explored their own rendition of what is heavy through methods entirely their own. Though the depths of their “heaviness” may intensify, their unique musicianship defies classification in any one genre or style, so let's just call it real “heavy music” in extreme color. Their music has been called a “game changer” regarding the leading edge of the world's rock scene, and that influence is limitless. They enter realms that cannot be described simply in terms of the “explosive sound” or “thunderous roars” that have become their trademark.
                            Rock! Shock! Pop!