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Fifty CDs is a lot of music for any one artist to release. To release them all at once, in a boxed set, is quite extraordinary.
The MERZBOX is just such a release. The MERZBOX also includes a book, CD-ROM, medallion, T-shirt, poster, postcards and stickers and is encased in a custom designed box with metal name plate.
If that isn't enough to make you gasp, the 50 CDs in question are Noise music by Japan's premier Noise musician MERZBOW. Not rock, not dance, not country and western but Noise. This event is unprecedented, even in the history of collector's series of classical music.
MERZBOX is the definitive collection of recorded MERZBOW works, spanning the years from 1979 to 1997. Any less than 50 CDs would not have done justice to the scope and ingenuity of MERZBOW's musical manifesto. All of these CDs will only be available in the MERZBOX.
Masami Akita, the mastermind and musician behind MERZBOW, is also a talented visual artist and writer. Akita has written numerous books, directed videos and produced artwork for nearly all of the MERZBOW releases. He has accomplished in under 20 years what would take a lesser artist many lifetimes to achieve.
Thirty of the titles were painstakingly selected from the MERZBOW archives. A further 20 previously unreleased titles, also recorded throughout the extensive history of MERZBOW, have been included in this musical document. All of the titles show the diversity and development of MERZBOW's Noise music.
"Sound work is an accumulation of pleasure, and the desire for pleasure is endless. Maybe the motivation of MERZBOW is to build a Pleasuredome of Noise - to increase power and difference," explains Masami Akita.
The Boxed Set includes the complete biography of MERZBOW, a book of over 100 pages written by music author Brett Woodward. One of the features of the book is testimonials from musicians who have been inspired by MERZBOW: Jim O'Rourke, Damion Romero, Achim Wollscheid and Eugene Thacker. In addition, Seymour Glass, editor of Bananafish, contributes a resounding endorsement of MERZBOW's talent. The book incorporates over 100 full colour images by MERZBOW.
The CD-ROM, also part of the MERZBOX, was created by notorious Melbourne multi-media designer Troy Innocent. It serves as both a document and an interactive journey into chaos. The CD-ROM includes bonus video footage, images and sound works.
A commemorative bronze medallion, by Melbourne artisan Marcus Davidson, is included in this limited edition Boxed Set. A poster, T-shirt, stickers and postcards featuring MERZBOW artwork complete the collector's edition. The 50 CDs are enclosed in a unique black rubber case, all of this encased in a custom designed box with metal name plate.
The set is to be produced as a limited edition of 1000, a part of Extreme's tenth anniversary celebrations.
Welcome to the Pleasuredome of Noise.
* MERZDISCS - Fifty CDs providing as many hours of MERZBOW Noise music. The collection spans from 1979 to 1997, 18 years of sonic decomposition. Many of the titles were only available as cassettes and have long since been deleted. Five LPs and a CD, which were originally released in limited numbers and have since been deleted, are now reissued in the MERZBOX. Also included are 20 releases that have previously never been released. All CDs have four colour CD labels, featuring new MERZBOW artwork. All CDs are exclusive to the MERZBOX.
* MERZBOOK - Music author Brett Woodward has written the biography of MERZBOW and how Masami Akita came to do what he does and why he continues to explore the realms of Noise music with such vigour. Various musicians and devotees of MERZBOW, Achim Wollscheid, Jim O'Rourke and Damion Romero, have written about their favourite noise musician. Techno-theorist Eugene Thacker provides a text on the relationship between MERZBOW and eroticism. Jonathan Walker contributes to the book with a written piece once included with the "Collaborative LP". Each album in the MERZBOX is reviewed by writer Brett Woodward and Masami Akita provides explanatory liner notes. All of this in a full colour book with over 100 pages and illustrations.
* MERZROM - An interactive multimedia CD-ROM designed by Troy Innocent. It includes additional images, music and video footage that provide a kinetic document of MERZBOW. The MERZROM is both a document and a chaotic device that provides a parallel to the music of MERZBOW. The CD-ROM is both MAC and PC compatible.
* MERZDALLION - Jeweller Marcus Davidson reinterprets primitive MERZBOW collage artwork on this commemorative medallion. The bronze medallion is two-sided and cryovac packed.
* MERZSHIRT - A T-shirt featuring the artwork that MERZBOW has become infamous for. The black T-shirt is large, long sleeve and made from 100% cotton.
* MERZCARDS - A series of postcards that capture the mail art aesthetic that was critical to the early years of MERZBOW.
* MERZSTICKERS - Two stickers with all new MERZBOW full colour artwork.
* MERZPOSTER - A large gloss poster that gives meaning to the term "lowest arts".
* MERZCASE - A 'fetish-rubber' case manufactured specifically to contain all of the CDs, MERZROM, MERZDALLION, MERZCARDS and MERZSTICKERS. The MERZCASE allows for complete portability of the CDs.
* MERZPACK - A custom designed hand made box to house all of the collection. It is complete with a photo etched metal name plate on the spine of the box.
The attention to detail and design that is inherent with the MERZBOX can be attributed to the outstanding work of Extreme's own Art Director, Doriana Corda. It is something that needs to be experienced as much as listened to.
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