Roaming the plains of noise, Thurston Moore finally found some worthy companions in the likes of Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson and Balazs Pandi, who already released Cuts as a trio in 2013. By adding Moore’s guitar to the loudness, this group has truly become global. Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper promises to approach the painful at all times, with melodies buried beneath layers and layers of aural destruction.

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Cuts Of Guilt, Cuts Deeper by Merzbow, Mats Gustafsson, Balazs Pandi, Thurston Moore
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6/10 Robin 21 May 2015

For a lot of y’all, this quartet is something of a dream team: he of noise wizardry, Merzbow, pumped up from harshing up the grindcore of Full of Hell, comes back to twist things into place and make good on his dissonant typecasting with friend Mats Gustafsson (who recently played reeds for a rather horrendous record with Phil Hinton). They bring along not only drummer Balazs Pandi, but also that humble, slipper-wearing noisemaker Thurston Moore. I’m still not on board with everyone thinking Moore is suddenly good at this free form stuff after a couple of pretty unbearable attempts, but everyone else is, so let’s just get on with it.

Of late there have been a lot of records working on the frenzied, surprisingly textural aesthetic that ‘Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper’ goes for, with drums clattering towards a similar ineffable end on many of Haino’s and Ambarchi’s new works. Where a lot of solo Merzbow might have a rawer, more starkly upsetting approach, each artist is heard in total here: the electronics of Merzbow and Gustafsson squeal and even occasionally pulsate, moving between disorientation and a kind of rhythmic tension no one could ever hold on to. Moore’s guitar is as it always is: pointlessly and tragically being sucked into a black hole where no signs of life can be found.

The sound is freefalling and pretty much exactly what you’d expect from four abstract noise tinkerers, but there are moments where they try to create atmospheres from the space around them, extracting discordance from trumpets, nonlinear guitar riffing and drums that are missed more than they are hit. As always, it’s an intensely physical kind of music, and that’s what makes it exciting: this is what it sounds like when instruments dance.


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