Japanese artist Merzbow has released MONOAkuma, a new live album, released via Lawrence English’s Room40 to celebrate his 40th anniversary as the influential noise project. 

The set was recorded live in 2012 at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. Room40 has pressed the album onto limited edition monochrome CD, with streaming available across all platforms. The release is described as “a summarization of what has made Merzbow such an engulfing and enigmatic artist,” collating some of the most extreme tones you’ll hear in music. All of the proceeds from the record are going towards the preservation of the Tasmanian devil. 

From Room40’s founder, Lawrence English:

“In the mid-2000s, I had the chance to meet Masami Akita (a.k.a Merzbow) and present him live when I was co-producing the Brisbane leg of the What Is Music? Festival. It was a pretty special event, in fact the first (sonic) meeting of Merzbow and Keiji Haino took place here in Brisbane. For me, Merzbow’s solo performance was as transformative an experience as hearing his music for the first time. Following a switch to digital electronics, in the early 2000s, his powerbook performance was literally like having someone run a razor blade across your eardrum, whilst pummelling your body. An exquisite, and beautiful, unease.

MONOAkuma is a live recording made in Brisbane in 2012 at the Institute Of Modern Art. This was the second time I had the pleasure to present him live in Australia. To me, this performance epitomises the physiology of Merzbow’s sound work. He creates in absolutes; sonically he generates a tidal wave of frequency that sweeps across the spectra with tireless frenzy. Merzbow’s capacity to conjure a massive swirling mesh of analog and digital sources is without comparison. His work is one of physiological and psychological intensity; a seething, psychedelic and utterly visceral noise-ocean.

MONOAkuma is available here now.