"Triwave Pagoda" is a blistering sonic depiction of space travel through rough and choppy atmospheres. Turbulence is ever-present and the cacophonic, dying equipment is about to give out. But the occasional shooting comet is still visible. And behind the controls is an impeccably credentialed master of flight who never loses control of his craft.
That Masami Akita has always been (and continues to be) influenced by the early mages of electronic music should come as no surprise. But the nebular synth flourishes are perhaps more present here than in much of Merzbow's expanding universe. The effortless juxtaposition of sparse modular squiggles and crushing clangor is as dazzling as it is satisfying.
Of course, ruthless, abrasive noise is still the main attraction. Despite the expert knob-twiddling, "Triwave Pagoda" is a grounded effort, recorded at Munemihouse, Tokyo. Fitting, then, that the title precisely sums up this dichotomy: 'Triwave' is a reference to the 4ms Triwave Picogenerator utilized in track 1; 'pagoda' a reference to the earthbound architecture glimpsed in Akita's collage gracing the front cover. The combination suggests a melding of vintage and modern sensibilities as a remnant from an era past is launched into space by means of discontinued effects pedals and other electronic wizardry. It's a description worthy of Merzbow's finest work, to which "Triwave Pagoda" makes a valuable addition.