More than 25 years after their first partnership, international collaborators Smegma and Merzbow reunite for an all-new album that pushes the conceptual springboard of random composition generation even further. Consisting of two movements spread over 93 tracks, XCIII presents a collage of abstract electronics, unconventional instruments, reel to reel tape manipulation, loops and effects, best experienced in unique combinations on shuffled play.
The first movement, Climactic Gruesome Costumes (whose title is an anagram of Play’s “Electro Smegmacoustic Music”), was composed using source sounds provided by Smegma and Merzbow, while the second movement, Reanimated, was composed at Smegma’s Studio using Merzbow tracks, Smegma tracks, and more.
Celebrating 50 years of Smegma! Smegma began in Pasadena, California in 1973. Over time, Smegma (a take on the name Magma) developed a so-called ‘primitive suburban folk’ approach to music. Most Smegma members moved to Portland, Oregon in 1975, while at the same time becoming involved with the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS), to which they contributed LPs, cassettes and visual art.
Merzbow is a Japanese artist who has been active since 1979. Over the course of his career, Merzbow has become one of the most prolific and influential figures in experimental music, creating an extensive discography encompassing over 500 releases.
1–53. Climactic Gruesome Costumes: Composed and mixed by John Wiese using original source sounds of Smegma and Merzbow at West, CLE-OH, January–March 2023. 54–93. Reanimated: Composed February 2023 at Smegma's Studio by Ju Suk Reet Meate using Merzbow tracks, Smegma tracks, reel to reel tape decks, loops and effects, record players, stuber & tocante, ring modulator, string bass, uzbeck horn and percussion. Optimized for random play.
Packed in a limited edition 6-panel digipak with cover art by Ju Suk Reet Meate, Oblivia, and John Wiese.