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P.G.R. / Merzbow / Tietchens

Grav (Silent Records SR9114) CD 66 minutes

Housed within a very nicely designed inlay cover, this disc is an experimental noise fan's wet dream: three of the best known names in the scene brought together by the mail system for these collaborative recordings. Sounds were supplied and mixed together by all three artists. P.G.R. and Tietchens pitch in with tapes and electronics while Merzbow's Masami Akita uses metal percussion and bowed metal. You wouldn't really expect the result to be sunlight and daisies, and of course it isn't: plutonium, stripmills and magnetic fields are the images that come to my mind instead. There's plenty of scraping, droning, clattering, oscillating, whirring and whooshing, but it's pointless trying to describe abstract music in terms of its components. Of the three pieces, each is reasonably representative of one of the three artists involved. Three Hemispheres, which brings Merzbow's metal to the fore, is easily the most painful to listen to, while the others are more subtly disturbing. The music is put together with tremendous skill; it's terrifyingly atmospheric; and of course it's very highly recommended. [Contact Silent Records] BD