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RESTOCKED: The old adage "nothing exceeds like excess" is inversely defined in Merzbow's latest exploit, a beguiling, gargantuan and limited (to 555 hand-numbered copies) 12 x CD boxset of "quieter" material, housed in hardcover box with red foil block print, featuring sounds recorded between 1987 and 1990 and accompanied by a die-cast metal medallion enscribed with the word 'dōbutsukaihō' meaning 'Animal Liberation' in Japanese. When Masami Akita (Merzbow) started touring internationally around the late eighties, he required a portable setup which changed his studio sound, but he continued to record using his tried and tested method of recording self-created junk instruments, including a "big handmade junk instrument made from a metal box with piano wires" manipulated with a bow. Now 20 years after the drop, these often-stunning recordings have been remastered for release, providing a vital insight to the lesser heard, more spacious and perhaps even more enthralling side of Merzbow's recorded archive. One of the closest comparisons we could draw is to the work of Kevin Drumm on 'Sheer Hellish Miasmah' for his temperance of clangorous, visceral noise and caustic textures conducted at unnervingly low volume and with such uncanny attention to minute shape and detail. But then again, this is Merzbow and from the amount of hugely evocative material inside we could draw analogues to Oram or Parmegiani and foley work for classic sci-fi/horror films. Giving some more context to these tracks, the 'RBA' titles of the majority refer to "Right Brain Audile", which was also used in his 'Music for Bondage Performance' soundtracks to films produced by Right Brain, which coincidentally appeared around the same time these tracks were made. Scanning through, we find the most ornate forms of indecipherable tones and structures amidst the mass, all seemingly organised with relatively subdued yet kinetic touch, mirroring the infinite and discriminate evolution of patterns in nature itself, or certainly the considered arrangement of Japanese gardens depicted on the box and individual CD sleeves - which piece together to form a picture of an exquisite Japanese garden. It's certainly not for the part-time listener, but anyone willing to immerse themselves in a parallel universe of sound should book some time off work and clock in with this for one of the most intense, mental holidays imaginable. (Boomkat)