MERZBOW  F.I.D.  2 x CD   (Fourth Dimension)   17.98

A crushing double-disc set from Masami Akita that was released through the UK label Fourth Dimension, and which ties in with Merzbow's fervent animal rights ideology. The title itself apparently stands for Fur Is Dead, and portions of the proceeds from the release are being donated to PETA. With all of the photographs of foxes, racoons, fluffy bunny rabbits, and chinchillas that adorn the case to F.I.D., you'd hardly expect this to be as savage as it is. Each disc features three tracks that were recorded over the winter of 2005-2006, and the work here is fierce, a perfect sonic match for his condemnation of animal cruelty and the horrors of fur harvesting (which you can read about in the liner notes printed in the booklet for F.I.D.. Each track is a furious blast of analogue feedback sculpted into skull shattering drones and grinding rhythmic loops with eerie melodic figures forming out of the fire. It's pretty much a return to the style of Merzbow's harsh, psychedelic early 90's releases, which is pretty much my favorite era of Merzbow work. Savage electronic violence is spewed from effects pedals being pushed to their limits, splattered with cosmic space gunk and glitchy pulses. There are a couple of spots where Masami Akita almost heads off into brutal gabber territory, like on "Seitaka" where it sounds like he started to mash together a Nasenbluten loop with some Venereology style power skree...and that track is a crusher, too. And likewise, "Kongara" engages in some heavy rhythm action, but this one is a crushing techno-industrial loop grinding endlessly through a storm of sheet metal scrape and violent feedback. "Forest of Kelp" forms out of a queasy electronic buzzdrone that begins to birth liquid oscillator pulses, morphs into chirping feedback and locust drones that take on the appearance of some hellish synthetic rainforest, and then all of a sudden Masami seems to whip out something akin to a damaged, acid-glazed satanic Hendrix solo under attack by blasts of electronic skree.

Definitely for anyone jonesing for some old school, harsh and heavy analogue Merzbow.