August 10, 1995 at Ikebukuro Cyber, Tokyo, Japan,
Merzbow, Pain Jerk, Killer Bug, Xome, CCCP

A rare event for the good ol' Ikebukuro Cyber. On any other night, a horde of glam-rock bands wound have been making the crowds dance the night away. On this particular evening, the entire place was filled to the brim with harsh dissonance and blasts of what most people like to call noise!

First up was C.C.C.P. I feel that many people in the crowd were expecting C.C.C.C. with a slight member change or something of the sort given the environment of the evening. But not so. None the less, C.C.C.P. managed to chop through their very musical set with no bumps or bruises and entertained the crowd with upbeat vocal-less songs. They even used a guitar attached to a stand.

Then came Xome. The noise onslaught began with a bilingual reading of the UFO bill of rights; in Japanese on the left channel and in English on the right. The tension built up to intolerable levels and the trio let loose with a clean but rather disturbing progression of energetic squeaky highs mixed in with course bass that could be felt in the chest and head. They had a upside down bicycle as well as another unrecognizable plastic box hanging from the ceiling. When the harsh electronic cacophony got to a good solid level they cut down the hanging objects and proceeded to destroy them right there on stage with hammers and drills. The box turned out to be a old portable word processor that shattered into a million electronic pieces. Too much but not enough!

Next to enter the stage was Killer Bug. For a one man project, he sure did put out some loud and serious sounds. The electronic harshness released into the crowd was an everchanging array of static and controlled feedback that was simply trance inducing. The cacophony didn't stop there as he jumped, kicked and flailed his way around the stage with his handmade mystery instrument from hell. It was more than a lot of fun to watch his inner energy being manifested as blistering noise, noise, noise! Killer Bug is going to perform in Taipei, Taiwan as well as a U.S. Tour in the next couple of months. Look out planet earth...

Pain Jerk was next up with his power packed fist of electronic terror. The attack begun with rolling thuds of distortion reminiscent of a dilapidated machine badly in need of lubrication. The machine slowly but surely went out of control and fell into an aural hole of noisy bliss. Gomi-san thrashed about as he conducted a raging symphony of violent raucousness. All the while, images of buildings, people, automobiles and airplanes being obliterated were being flashed in the background. The rumble of the thunder continued and eventually came down to a rather impressive ending where the sound simply was sucked up into my third eye. Ugh!

Last to grace the stage with their presence was the infamous Merzbow. They began with a rolling dissonance that slowly filled the entire room and sent everyone to a distant and resonating world of atonal sounds that can only be made by Merzbow. Though a few technical difficulties were present here and there, they still presented a sweet swelling of slowly changing audio color intertwined with the whirring of electronics in their harshest of convoluted forms. I noticed a few nice shiny unknown sound generators that I haven't seen before being moved carefully to the surge of sound. Hypnotizing visuals were projected on the screen behind Akita and Reiko as they continued building the wall of discord. The raucity wound down and left the audience in a state of jaw-dropped amazement. One can never get enough of their masterful performances.

- Bob

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Death Rock and Blood (negatron@iac.co.jp)