MERZBOW & WIESE, JOHN  Multiplication  CD   (Misanthropic Agenda)   9.98

An old-style mail collaboration between two of the electronic noise scene's heaviest fists, Multiplication is the product of a back-and-forth assembly job by Japanese noise god Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) and Cali speedblaster John Wiese during the Spring of 2004. Not counting Wiese's contributions to two previously released Merzbow remix albums, this hour-long offensive is the pair's first collaboration, with six tracks of skull drilling fast paced distortion/glitch/cut-up violence of the most psychedelic/lobotomizing kind. The first five tracks here were produced by Wiese, while the final 27 minute epic title track was shaped by Merzbow. Each one is an intensely detailed maelstrom of exploding feedback squibs, whirring static drones, colliding sacs of gritty distortion, slow-churning whirlpools of squiggly electronic squeal and howling half-realized melodies screaming out of wild filter sweeps. Sitting back and listening to this, it's easy to forget that this is a collaboration at all, as I can hear all of the strongest elements of both artists recent work rising to the surface here. So, it's pretty seemless, and definitely enjoyable if you're a fan of either of these guys' work, particularly the hard crunch of Harshhead/Bazoutai-era Merzbow. This is the American version, in a full color jewel case.