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Merzbow / Z'EV - Spiral Right / Spiral Left

Spiral Right / Spiral Left brings together two heavyweights but rather than a collaborative release each artist remixed the other's original sounds. Merzbow is a renowned noise musician while Z'EV primarily known in industrial circles for his percussive flair is also an adept sound musician. His last release on Cold Spring, Sum Things, was composed entirely of manipulated single sound sources.

The opening Z'EV mix forges his percussive clatter to Merzbow's shredded electronics. Z'EV appears to be playing some metal percussion with his customary finesse. It's rickety and ricocheting while Merzbow's electronics seep with a jagged edge. It takes quite some time to gel and at some points it's like listening to a torrential downpour hammering down on a corrugated roof. It's only just below the midpoint that they add structure to the texture when the electronics subsume and are replaced with crunchy electronic effects and Z'EV's percussion can truly be heard. But by then Merzbow has thrown in some flights of waspish electronics that are soon replaced with electronic chatter. The entire thing reignites with gongs and bowls, and sustained blasts of noise electronics.

While Z'EV gives shape to the sound, Merzbow's remix is skitter-screechy electronics over slow rumbling drumming from Z'EV. Merzbow's layering of noise here is much more spacious but it still seems to obliterate Z'EV's percussive work for much of this. That said, the revving electronics and careering woosh that leads into some thunderous pounding from Z'EV is pretty good.

Both artists are prolific collaborators, and just on Cold Spring Z'EV's collaborated with Boyd Rice, and Genesis P-Orridge, while Merzbow has teamed up with Genesis P-Orridge and Nordvargr. Spiral Right / Spiral Left doesn't throw up any surprises and it doesn't rank as the finest work from either but it's a decent enough effort from this collaboration which has been years in the planning. For more information go to