steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Ikebana: Merzbow's Amlux Rebuilt, Reused, and Recycled" CD

Important Records

Genres: electronica, noise, sound collage

Important Records
PO Box 1281
Newburyport MA

Jun 8 - 14 2003

First off, the copy of Ikebana that I'm reviewing is only a promotional sampler, so its 13 songs pale in comparison to the actual release's line-up,  which includes two discs worth of contributions from the likes of Kid 606, Experimental Audio Research, Chicks on Speed, and DJ/rupture.  But if this shortened collection is anything to go by, the full release is sure to satisfy most techno and noise fans.

Ikebana was assembled by the folks at Important Records, who contacted a number of leading noise and electronica acts and asked them to contribute tracks using Merzbow's Amlux album as source material.  The catch?  Amlux was to be used "as an instrument in an original composition," instead of as material for a run-of-the-mill remix.

Aha.  Well, it ain't hard to like this line-up.  DJ Spooky contributes his own brand of subliminal turntable chaos, Plug (aka Luke Vibert) brings on the techno, and Alec Empire (of Atari Teenage Riot, of course) offers a fitting "Digital Hardcore Mix."  And that's just tracks one through three.  Elsewhere we've got characteristic Mouse on Mars mayhem, fun "political" cut-up collage courtesy of Negativland, experimental gushing electronics by Nobukazu Takemura, and an inventive glitchy noise piece from Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto.  Plus more.  Come on, you know you want it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: distributed by the label, released 2003]