Pulse Demon

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Pulse Demon
Studio album by Merzbow
Released May 28, 1996 (1996-05-28)
Recorded October–November 1995 at ZSF Produkt Studio, Tokyo
Genre Noise
Length 73:20
Label Release
Producer Masami Akita
Merzbow chronology
Music for Bondage Performance 2
(1996)
Pulse Demon
(1996)
Spiral Honey
(1996)

Pulse Demon is an album by the Japanese noise musician Merzbow.[1] Unlike Venereology, his previous album for Release, this album is not inspired by heavy metal. Outtakes from this album are included on Merzmorphosis.

Background[edit]

The artwork is an homage to the 1970s Prospective 21e Siècle imprint of Philips Records,[2] in particular the albums of Ivo Malec.[3] However, the art is most similar to the work of Bridget Riley, "Fall" and "Current" in particular.

Basically, this shiny silver is the color of Heavy Metal. I mean it the way William Burroughs said it. My basic idea is I think this idea has been approached in the past by Heldon and King Crimson.

—Masami Akita[2]

The title was inspired by the 1970s afro-rock band Demon Fuzz and Akita's use of a fuzz box as a pulse generator.[3] Some song titles were inspired by Jon Appleton's Appleton Syntonic Menagerie LP.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction to Pulse Demon was mixed. Pitchfork Media gave the album's 2003 re-release a glowing score of 8.7/10, their highest rating out of their sparse eight Merzbow album reviews. Calling it an "incomparable classic", the reviewer describes the album as "simply pure sound, viciously unadulterated static", going on to state that "music cannot get much more extreme than this. Maybe John Cage's 4'33", and that's so far to the limit, it's probably cheating. This is the edge of music, of sound in general." Also praised was the album's packaging, being called "more valuable than some people's lives."[4] However, AllMusic's dismissive two-line review was "Merzbow's second American release offers more of the deafening white noise that is his trademark, mastered for maximum loudness. Not for the faint of heart, but ideally suited for the hard of hearing."[5] Being only given 2.5/5 stars, Pulse Demon is one of the four lowest rated of AllMusic's 31 (solo) Merzbow reviews. The A.V. Club's ambivalent review summarized it as "genuinely extreme, downright torturous sounds that are strangely compelling in their shredding intensity."[6]

Track Listing[edit]

All music composed by Masami Akita.

No. Title Length
1. "Woodpecker No. 1"   6:42
2. "Woodpecker No. 2"   3:37
3. "Spiral Blast"   4:30
4. "My Station Rock"   4:54
5. "Ultra Marine Blues"   11:29
6. "Tokyo Times Ten"   11:09
7. "Worms Plastic Earthbound"   24:53
8. "Yellow Hyper Balls"   6:03

Notes[edit]

  • All composed by live noise concrete. No over dub.
  • Mastered at SAE Mastering, Phoenix, AZ, January 1996.

Personnel[edit]

  • Masami Akita – metals, EMS, audio generator, shortwave, noise electronics, tape, voice
  • Colour Climax – visual
  • Bill Yurkiewicz & David Shirk – mastering

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Quantity Catalog Sold Out
United States 1996 Release CD (holographic sleeve) 3,000 RR 6937-2 Yes
1998 CD (jewel case) n/a RR 6937-2 No

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merzbow - Pulse Demon (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Corridor Of Cells - Interview - Merzbow". Corridor of Cells. 1997. Archived from the original on November 30, 1999. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "MERZBOW - interview". Neural Therapy. Archived from the original on January 29, 1999. Retrieved April 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ Pitchfork Media
  5. ^ Pulse Demon at AllMusic
  6. ^ The AV Club