Masami Akita (born December 19, 1956), better known as Merzbow, is a Japanese ElectronicMusic artist and composer, as well as a book writer and editor for various publications.

During his youth, he listened to psychedelic rock, progressive rock and free jazz, all of which influenced his musical style. He has been the drummer for various rock bands during his high school years, but began his musical career as an experimental rock artist with his high school friend Kiyoshi Mizutani.

He later attended Tamagawa University to study fine art, at which he majored in painting and art theory. During this time, he developed an interest in UsefulNotes/{{Dada}}, {{Postmodernism}} and {{surrealism}}, eventually learning about Kurt Schwitters' ''Merz'', or art made from rubbish, including the installation "Merzbau", which became the source of his stage name.

Merzbow began in 1979 as a duo consisting of Masami Akita and Kiyoshi Mizutani, initially playing {{Industrial}} music, which was not well-recognized during their time. They began garnering recognition in TheEighties with their record label, Lowest Music and Arts, as well as its SpiritualSuccessor, ZSF Produkt, which released material produced by other industrial artists. During this era, the duo began producing recordings for various international labels. Merzbow performed in the USSR in 1988, and have toured the US, Korea, and Europe in TheNineties. In 1993, however, Kiyoshi left to pursue a solo career.

As of the present time, Merzbow has released over 350 studio recordings. He also has loads and loads of [[IHaveManyNames aliases]] and [[AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder side projects]].

Merzbow's music is a matter of debate among ElectronicMusic fans, owing to its [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible highly experimental and abstract nature]]. He is frequently cited as an early pioneer of {{Industrial}} music in TheEighties, alongside acts such as Music/ThrobbingGristle and Music/{{Whitehouse}}. Due to this, he has gained substantial attention in underground ElectronicMusic circles, with many indies acts drawing inspiration from his works. However, he has also made forays into ambient-ish music and musique concrete. It is also arguable that he had a role in establishing/influencing the intelligent dance music (IDM) genre when it was still an UnbuiltTrope, before artists like Music/{{Autechre}} and Music/AphexTwin entered the spotlight.

Despite being highly acclaimed in many musical circles, '''''Merzbow's music is definitely NOT for everyone'''''; much of his work is ''extremely'' harsh, dissonant, mechanical and rough-sounding, and often employs ''every form'' of musical SensoryAbuse imaginable, including, but not limited to: heavily distorted, chattering electronics, tape loops, an emphasis on both heavy, sub-sonic bass and piercing ultrasonics, and extensive use of reverb, feedback, and static, which is even made more harsh and sonically abusive through his [[ThreeChordsAndTheTruth rough production style]][[note]]Remember this as you keep reading, however; you're in for a big surprise[[/note]]. His music comes across as overwhelming and difficult to listen to, and to the uninititated, may come across as sounding like a massive wall of black noise. Due to this, his music is very, VERY high on the MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness. [[note]]He is the last artist on the scale, with one of his songs being classified as the hardest song in the '''entire''' scale.[[/note]]

YouHaveBeenWarned. If you really, REALLY, '''REALLY''', '''''REALLY''''' want to take a shot at his music, then [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGqzaPzrQG8 go ahead and listen]]. Just pray that your eardrums won't get blown off in the process.

Wiki/TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merzbow_discography has a comprehensive list of his known works]].

!!Tropes applying to Merzbow:

* CarefulWithThatAxe: Considering his [[HarshNoise musical style]], his surprise vocal inserts in some songs can come across as this.
* ContemptibleCover: Most of the ''Pornoise'' releases have... well, [[ShapedLikeItself pornographic album covers]], but it's a sort of {{justified|Trope}} or {{invoked|Trope}} example given the project's name. The packaging was literally comprised of collages Akita created from discarded (usually pornographic) magazines. The idea was that the collages would be like cheap mail-order pornography. Sexorama was another project Akita created with a similar concept, but, according to Wiki/ThatOtherWiki, this featured other "artists involved in the international industrial/noise mail music scene".
* DarkerAndEdgier: He did this to {{Industrial}}, which is already a very harsh genre in itself.
** LighterAndSofter: A portion of this work is this to the rest of his work. He's done occasional ambient works, which are basically a 1 or 2 compared to his usual 11+ on the MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness. His collaborations with other artists could also be considered to qualify; he still does his usual harsh noise thing, but since it's underpinned by works with more traditional musical qualities it's still more accessible, making it usually reside in the 6-9 range. Finally, live, while still mind-fuckingly loud, he's not quite as harsh as he is in the studio. His collaborations with Music/{{Boris}} may be a nice place to start with him for people who are afraid of tackling his more typical works; these works generally run the gamut from 1-9 or so on the aforementioned MohsScale (most of "Headronefish" and the intro/outro to "Sun Baked Snow Cave" are both 1, for example).
* DreamTeam: Often collaborates with other artists, with Music/{{Boris}}, Music/SunnO, Music/{{Ulver}}, Xiu Xiu, and Full of Hell being notable examples.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Early works were mostly noisy PsychedelicRock. Merzbow later scrapped this for harsh {{Industrial}} music akin to early power electronics artists such as Music/ThrobbingGristle, and again in TheNineties for a harsher, darker and louder sound influenced by early Brutal DeathMetal bands.
* ElectronicMusic: His main output being a [[GenreRoulette stew]] of the following subgenres:
** HarshNoise: He is the TropeCodifier.
** {{Industrial}}: One of the pioneers of this musical style. It is arguable that he has made contributions to the development of IndustrialMetal with his DeathMetal-influenced mid-1990s work.
** IDM: He is one of the early pioneers of this subgenre, back when it was an UnbuiltTrope.
** Ambient, [[AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent believe it or not]].
* EpicRocking: For a certain definition of "rocking". His songs can get very long, with some being over an hour.
* EverythingIsAnInstrument: He even uses instruments made out of ''trash''.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: ''Merzbient'' is a box set full of mostly ambient works.
* GenreBusting: Go ahead. Describe his musical style with one genre. [[SchmuckBait We dare you]].
** GenreAdultery[=/=]AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: He also produces ambient music, which can be totally jarring when compared to [[HarshNoise his usual]] [[{{industrial}} musical style]].
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Quite a few, the most notorious being his short-lived trio Flying Testicle, which featured Masonna and Z'ev.
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: A lot of his works, ever since the early 2000s, have had 'limited' or 'deluxe' versions available to purchase at [[CrackIsCheaper quite]] a high price, and a production run of [[NoExportForYou likely a thousand (or hundred) copies]]. It starts out simple; extra discs containing mixed material, vinyl stickers and maybe postcards/collages of his. But then you get to the absurd stuff including hand-cast metal medallions (Merzbient) and ''swiss army knives'' (Kibako). Most likely they are packaged in either tote bags or elaborate boxes which can be plastic, wooden or even bamboo.
** Not that it's not counting some ''regular'' editions; the [[CompilationRerelease Merzbox]] has '''''eighteen''''' other physical items that aren't in the '''fifty'''-disc box set [[note]]If you were wondering; a poster, 6 stickers and round cards, a biography/essay collection hardbook, two CD-ROMs (one being an interactive multimedia disc, and the other being a catalog/press kit of sorts), a medallion, and a shirt.[[/note]]
* '''LoudnessWar''': His output might sound like a huge wall of blastbeats and staticky black noise, but surprisngly, he '''''[[AvertedTrope averts]]''''' this trope: almost all of his musical output is highly polished, crystal-clear and uncompressed to the point where almost all the dynamic range is still present.
** In a rather extreme example of [[ZigzaggedTrope zigzagging]] this trope, he has not just produced some of the clearest albums on record, but he has also recorded the ''two most horribly brickwalled'' albums ever produced: ''Pulse Demon'' and ''Venereology'', both of which have dynamic ranges of '''''zero''''' and gain values in ''the negative twenties''. The latter of these also contains the loudest track ever put to compact disc: "I Lead You Towards Glorious Times".
** Some of his other albums are still fairly loud, having dynamic range values of four or thereabouts. It is highly doubtful whether anyone will ever make a louder album than ''Venereology'', though.
* MetalScream: The vocal work in "I Lead You Towards Glorious Times" is made up of nothing but these.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: His output is a VERY, '''VERY''' hard '''[[UpToEleven 11]]''' ''at the lightest'', but what's surprising about him is the fact that, despite being known for his Level 11 music, he has also done Level 1 ambient/chillout music, and in live shows, he is known for toning down his music so as to bring it to around 8-10. Most of the time, though, he cannot be ranked lower than 11 because most of his music is just so hard and brutalizing that it easily goes off the high end of the scale.
* OlderThanTheyLook: [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7NXz9LTDw_M/UVXCwGLTMzI/AAAAAAAAAcM/pjRGIkc1_ZE/s1600/merz.jpg This good looking nerdy guy]] who appears to be in his mid-late 30s is in fact a 56-year old man.
* {{Postmodernism}}: He's influenced by Dadaism, PsychedelicRock and early {{Industrial}} artists.
* ScareChord: Most of his work contains copious amounts of these, for a certain definition of "chord".
* ScaryMusicianHarmlessMusic: One of the biggest inversions of this trope in music: he appears like a typical nerd, with long hair, glasses and a skinny physique. [[OlderThanTheyLook He even looks fairly young for his age]]. But his musical output is ''literally'' the auditory equivalent of MindRape.
* [[SensoryAbuse SENSORY ABUSE]]: One of the masters.
* SiameseTwinSongs: On some of his releases, as much as they can even be considered "songs". ''Pulse Demon'' is basically a solid wall of noise with track divisions inserted more or less arbitrarily. There are a couple of cases where you can clearly hear significant stylistic shifts between the tracks, but you'd have to be paying close attention for some of the others.
* SignatureStyle: Very loud, chattering electronics, time-signature torture, loads and loads of SensoryAbuse, and harsh, disorienting atmospherics.
* SomethingBlues: The track title "Ultra Marine Blues", though [[CaptainObvious it doesn't sound anything like any blues you're familiar with.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: Because of his apparent influence to many industrial artists, he is sometimes considered as this to Music/ThrobbingGristle.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: His occasional forays into ambient music could count as this.
* StylisticSuck: He has ''actual musical talent''. Yes, really, he can make traditional music if he so desires; it only happens that he makes mind-fucking HarshNoise because that's what he is most known for.
* UpToEleven: Merzbow's music is simply HarshNoise plus this.
* [[WidgetSeries Widget Artist]]: [[CrazyAwesome Hands down, the most eccentric musician in the J-music scene]]. He's even more weird than all of them combined. Also, he is one of the weirdest ElectronicMusic producers ever to gain recognition.