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Richard Pinhas - Rhizome (with Merzbow) CD (album) cover

RHIZOME (WITH MERZBOW)

Richard Pinhas

 

Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
4 stars More of the same, but why try to fix what isn't broken? As the cover of this album implies, this is an experiment in the beast versus beauty, and the wonderful companionship that can result from the two also coming together.

Being a fan of the previous Pinhas and Merzbow collaboration album, deciding to listen to Rhizome was a no-brainer. I'm kind of surprised that it's taken me so long to do this review since I've been listening to this album for months now.

This album is very similar to Keio Lane; the Pinhas-tronic guitar looping, the comfortably noisy Japanese electo-experimentation, and the sonic density that results is as good as it was before. One thing that is especially interesting about this collaboration is that Merzbow's influence is much more "Merzbow" than with his collaborations with other artists, where he is forced to tune down his noisiness almost completely as if he weren't even there (like with Boris). Richard Pinhas and Merzbow meld their styles to work in the forefront of the music rather than let either one of them fall behind into the backdrop, which definitely adds to the incomparable density and the soothing/harsh dynamic. Soothing and alarming, ethereal and grinding, there are plenty of seemingly paradoxical adjectives that can be used to describe this album.

Pinhas' guitar looping and noodling is the same as before, giving off both the cold and warm radiating audio sensations found in his best work, as always sounding like a much more interesting alternative to Robert Fripp's Frippertronic methods. Though Merzbow isn't forced to pull back too much on his noisiness, it's worth mentioning that this definitely isn't "harsh" compared to his solo work (this is only about as harsh as Music for Bondage Performance or Kamadhenu which are among the most subtle of Merzbow's discography). Instead, these two artists really work together to accentuate each other's sound, creating music that is soothing, compelling, dynamic, active, and unique.

Each of the tracks on Rhizome run together as one, resulting in an album with layers and layers being added and released in a continuously developing cycle until it all climaxes and ceases. A close visual counterpart to this album would be watching sped-up time lapse footage of glaciers melting and refreezing from the sun's influence. Some of the tracks have moments of profound rock influence (something new for the duo) while maintaining the loud ambiance that mostly defines this collaboration.

Rhizome is a great album that displays the best of Pinhas and Merzbow's talents, and should appeal to fans of the solo work of either Merzbow or Pinhas as well as their previous collaborative album.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |

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