Every Record I Own - Day 200: Boris w/ Merzbow Sun Baked Snow Cave
For my 200th entry, I’m taking a break from the Cave In catalog to discuss this Boris & Merzbow record. This is a recent acquisition, though a CD copy has been in my library since it’s initial release back in 2005. At the time this originally came out I was living in a small apartment on Capitol Hill and touring frequently enough that I couldn’t hold down a job. I decided that the best way to deal with unemployment was by tackling as much band business as possible. My morning routine involved fixing a big batch of French press coffee and hunkering down at the computer to answer emails and tend to three bands’ social media accounts for several hours. I would vacillate between Sunn O)))’s Black One and the Boris & Merzbow collaboration Sun Baked Snow Cave on those mornings because the lack of vocals made it easier to concentrate on my correspondence.
It was a tough time in many ways. Finances were tight. My bands kept hitting potentially crippling obstacles. But I remember those mornings favorably. I felt productive, and I realized that the process of tending to the behind-the-scenes work was gratifying in its own right. And records like Sun Baked Snow Cave were helping expand my musical horizons beyond the more structured rock records that dominated my listening habits.
I didn’t understand how these records were composed. Were they spontaneous? Were they premeditated? How did someone write a sparse, textural, hour-long composition? It still had a foot in the realm of the arty metal scene, but it ultimately felt like music written with an entirely different purpose. So while the music wasn’t visceral in the manner of most metal records, the free and unbridled nature of this collaboration between Boris and Merzbow felt exhilarating in a new way. It sounded like a door being opened.
Those were good days.