MERZBOW - ECOBONDAGE
Format : 2 LP + CD
Edition : 250 copies
Release date : 15 October 2015
Cat# : LH66
Status : SOLD OUT
Part 1 including
A - Ecobondage (16:17) [mp3]
Part 1 including
B - Ecobondage (Continue), Prison Of Takaou, Blow Up (13:51)
Part 2 including
C - Ha Ha Ho Bari (Mari) (17:42) [mp3]
Part 2 including
D - Ha Ha Ho Bari (Mari) (Continue), Balloon, Contraction, Ending (18:24)
Ecobondage Part 1 Including
1 - Ecobondage, Prison Of Takaou, Blow Up (30:07) [mp3]
Ecobondage Part 2 Including
2 - Ha Ha Ho Bari (Mari), Balloon, Contraction, Ending (35:54) [mp3]
Ecobondage was originally recorded in 1986 / 1987 in all its analogic greatness !
It was published in 1987 by ZSF in an edition of 300 and by Distemper in CD format in 1995.
Both edition are very hard to find and very expensive nowadays!
This re-issue was remastered in 2015 by Masami Akita.
Double 12" LP + CD re-issue! The original lp is now divided on two vinyls for superior sound.
The beauty of vinyl and the digital perfection of the CD format all in one package!
Paste on cover comes with a replica of the original cover artwork. It also includes a numbered card, a new insert with an unpublished 1980s design and an updated version of one of the original inserts.
Edition of 250.
Review from brainwashed.com
Originally released in 1987 and first reissued in the mid 1990s on CD, Ecobondage is one of Merzbow’s seminal works, and also one of my earliest experiences with his vast discography. Presented as a double LP reissue (with included CD), the album feels like an appropriately deluxe edition that captures a high point of Masami Akita's too often overlooked, but superior junk noise era.
As I have surely mentioned in previous reviews of his albums, my first exposure to Akita's work was Venereology. Like many a suburban teenager, my curiosity was piqued by the claim of it being "the most extreme album you’ll ever own" that Relapse used for marketing purposes. I was underwhelmed once I heard it, however, and while I have developed more of an appreciation for the album now, it still pales compared to others. But not long after that first exposure, I found a copy of Ecobondage on the shelves of a record store and gave Merzbow a second chance. Revisiting the album nearly 20 years after first hearing it (and a more sizable chunk of his catalog), it still makes for a high water mark of his work.
The two 30 minute-plus pieces are split in half for the vinyl portion of the release, and presented as unbroken compositions on the CD. The points in which they are split are rather insignificant, as both parts are dynamic, ever shifting collages. A mix of found sounds, junk rhythms, and tape manipulations jump around rapidly from minute to minute, making any discernible divisions a moot point. Even now, I am not exactly sure where Part 1's "Ecobondage" ends and "Prison of Takaou" begins, nor do I feel that I really need to.
The first part (including "Ecobondage," "Prison of Takaou," and "Blow Up") immediately encapsulates what Masami Akita circa 1987 sounded like. Opening with scraping sheets of metal and rumbling, heavy electronics (possibly the credited contributions of then-frequent collaborator Kiyoshi Mizutani), the mix soon has Akita introducing recordings of dogs barking and clattering, junky tape loops. The piece heavily features lo-fi treated found sounds, taped and manipulated music, and other elements that are even more difficult to pin down. During its duration, it becomes a wall of cavernous metal banging and crunchy undulating patterns, transitioning from chaos to pseudo-rhythmic structures and back again.
The second portion (made up of "Ha Ha Ho Bari (Mari)," "Balloon," "Contraction," and "Ending") follows a similar blueprint: a dizzying array of what seems to be randomness but is anything but. At first it is comparably more abrasive: squeaking, shrill noises, covered in reverb and laser-gun like synthesizer passages. Even with this harshness, the variation and depth of the sounds employed by Akita keep it from becoming too dull or unpleasant. As it continues, undulating heavy bass slips into tumbling metallic chaos, like a rampant bull in a metal factory. The closing moments become more percussive and rhythmic, constructed from what resembles an improvised gamelan and random metal objects.
The presentation of Ecobondage is worth noting, too. While I am not usually one to unnecessarily extol the virtues of analog over digital presentations, the sound benefits from the vinyl presentation, which captures the warmth of the original analog source material better than the CD, which sometimes becomes a bit too sharp and harsh. Similarly, the record's visual presentation is strong as well: not only does it revert back to the original LP artwork (which was not included on the original CD reissue), the sleeve is stuffed with inserts (some reproduced from the first version of the record) and flyers that hearken back to those early noise releases that I am rather fond of. But no matter how it looks, the familiar yet unrecognizable noises captivate in their complexity and variation, culminating in a record that has an undeniable depth and breadth, and is just as great as I remember it from 20 years ago.
Review from Vitalweekly.net
The artist himself on his ZSF Produkt label first released Merzbow’s ‘Ecobondage’ in
1987, and it is probably a very long album, clocking in at over an hour or so. I remember
getting this record, trading with Merzbow directly (LP against Dutch smut magazines, which
I always thought was a great deal) but not necessarily remember this as a bad pressing.
Now it's re-issued as a double LP with no bonus material, so the new pressing has no doubt
with more dynamics. Along with this comes a CD with the entire double LP as two long pieces
(instead of three as was the first CD issue, released in 1995 on Distemper, it's sole release
on this label actually).
This is Merzbow in one of my favourite periods, this mid to late
80s period. He's not yet the noise artist he became later, either with all his guitar effects
transforming acoustic sounds, or with his laptop, effectively reaching for the same noise,
nor playing around with the EMS Synthi-A. In stead he plays percussion and records himself
a couple of times, banging sheets of metal, adding tape-loops of a rather obscure nature,
some hand spun records and the noise is very much of a different nature than on many of
his later work.
This is the great times of 'Enclosure' or 'Storage', where metal plays an
important role, scraping and rubbing sheets together to create nasty patterns, or rather:
non-patterns. A curious web of sounds that are not always related, even have an odd
relationship but which work together actually quite well. Everything comes in what seems
to be a never-ending stream of sounds, where sounds pop up for a while and then are moved
to the background somewhere and something moves along. An excellent interplay of disparate
sounds, conjuring flickering images of an equally unrelated kind.
If you like Merzbow,
but you think he's doing his overload noise a bit too much on repeat these days, then it's
certainly a wise thing to invest in this true 80s beauty which was until now hard to get:
but here it is again, in full beautiful glory!