Gensho (album)

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Cover art
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 16, 2016 (2016-03-16) (Japan), March 18, 2016 (2016-03-18) (worldwide)
StudioSound Square (Boris), Munemihouse (Merzbow)
Boris with Merzbow chronology
Boris chronology
Merzbow chronology
Music for Urbanism

Gensho (現象, "phenomenon") is the fourth collaborative studio album and seventh release by the Japanese experimental band Boris and noise musician Merzbow. It is presented in two parts; the first disc features re-recordings of several Boris songs and a cover of the My Bloody Valentine song "Sometimes" in drone-based, drumless style, while the second disc consists of new compositions by Merzbow. They are intended to be played at the same time, much like the previous Boris double album Dronevil, or as separate works.[1][2]

Initial teasers were posted at the start of the year, most prominently a live clip of "Huge" from the Fever performance on January 21.[3] Rolling Stone announced YouTube streams of "Heavy Rain" and its accompanying section of "Goloka pt. 1" on February 5, 2016.[4] Later in February, The Wire debuted a live video of Boris alone playing the song "More" from Leave Them All Behind 2015.[5]


The album was inspired by their June 2014 Boiler Room set, during which Boris played a drumless set, followed by Merzbow, and then a joint set by Boris with Merzbow.[6][7] In support of Gensho, they played a one-off show at Fever in Tokyo on November 27, 2015;[6] a recording of the concert called Gensho at Fever 11272015 is included as a bonus with the Japanese release of Gensho by Daymare Recordings.[8] It includes the recorded debut of a new Boris song "More", as well as a performance of rare song "Kilmister," created for the web anime series Ninja Slayer, and a cover the Man song "Many Are Called, but Few Get Up". Because the Boris tracks are primarily drone-based, both presented versions of the song "Akuma no Uta" are actually more similar to "Introduction" from the same album; regardless, the song is credited as "Akuma no Uta" on all versions.

The vinyl version of the album is released as two separate double LPs; one LP with half of the Boris material and one LP with half of the Merzbow material. Thus, no matter which form is purchased, it is possible to play both contributors simultaneously. These are also available bundled together as a single deluxe edition.[1] The deluxe LP was featured as Record of the Week by Pirates Press.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]

AllMusic critic Thom Jurek wrote: "When taken together, these records offer ever-varying degrees of light, dark, power, and emotion that wash over the listener. Creatively, Gensho is so rich and expansive, fans of both acts should find it indispensable."[10]

Track listing[edit]


Disc one – Boris
1."Farewell" (originally from Pink)7:53
2."Huge" (originally from Amplifier Worship)10:50
4."Rainbow" (originally from Rainbow)6:20
5."Sometimes" (My Bloody Valentine cover)9:45
6."Heavy Rain" (originally from Noise)7:50
7."Akuma no Uta" (originally from Akuma no Uta)11:43
8."Akirame Flower" (originally from Golden Dance Classics split)6:14
9."Vomitself" (originally from Amplifier Worship)9:47
Total length:74:25
Disc two – Merzbow
1."Planet of the Cows"18:43
2."Goloka Pt. 1"20:09
3."Goloka Pt. 2"19:33
4."Prelude to a Broken Arm"16:01
Total length:74:26

Gensho at Fever 11272015[edit]

Disc three
2."決別" (Farewell)8:10
4."虹がはじまるとき" (Rainbow)6:01
6."More" (unreleased Boris track)6:46
7."キルミスター incl. "Many Are Called, but Few Get Up"" ("Kilmister")12:10
8."黒猫メロディ" ("Melody")7:23
Total length:54:41
Disc four
1."Angel" (originally from Noise)18:17
2."あくまのうた" ("Akuma no Uta")14:57
3."" ("Heavy Rain")7:09
Total length:54:28


All personnel credits adapted from the album notes.[11]


  • Takeshi – vocals, guitar, bass
  • Wata – vocals, guitar, echo
  • Atsuo – vocals, percussion, electronics


Technical personnel[edit]

  • Shinobu Narita – sound production (Boris)
  • Fangsanalsatan – recording (Boris), artwork
  • Soichiro Nakamura – mixing (Boris), mastering
  • Tadashi Hamada – A&R

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog Quantity Notes
Japan March 16, 2016 Daymare CD DYMC-260 expanded edition
United States March 18, 2016 Relapse 2×CD RR7321
LP RR7321 / RR7326 500 Parts 1 & 2
2×LP RR7321 1000 Part 1
RR7326 1000 Part 2


  1. ^ a b "BORIS WITH MERZBOW Announce Details of New Collaborative Album 'Gensho', Premiere Live Video + Trailer". Relapse Records. January 21, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Aoki, Ryotaro. "Rock act Boris and noise musician Merzbow attempt an interactive experiment on 'Gensho'". The Japan Times. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "Boris with Merzbow - "Huge" (live)". January 21, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  4. ^ "Boris With Merzbow: Tinker With a Track From Their Interactive Album". Rolling Stone. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Wire - Watch Boris perform "More"". The Wire. February 17, 2016. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Boris with Merzbow: Complete New Collaborative Full-Length Gensho; Announce Exclusive One-Off Show in Japan". Relapse Records. September 22, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  7. ^ Nagurney, E. (September 23, 2015). "Boris and Merzbow collaborate on new full-length for Relapse". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Boris with Merzbow : 現象 -Gensho- Expanded Edition". DIW Products Group. January 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  9. ^ "Gensho as Pirates Press Record of the Week". Pirates Press. February 12, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Boris / Merzbow - Gensho". AllMusic. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Gensho (album notes). Boris with Merzbow. Relapse. 2016.

External links[edit]