Merzbow was born in Tokyo in 1981, the bastard son of Masami Akita. Inspired by Dadaism and Surrealism, Akita took the name for his project from German artist Kurt Schwitters' pre-War architectural assemblage "The Cathedral of Erotic Misery" done in his "merz" style
a confluence of the organic and the geometric. "Merzbau" referred to his houses. Just as Schwitters attacked the entrenched artistic traditions of his time with his revolutionary Avant-garde collages, so too would Akita challenge the contemporary concept of what is called music. Akita would draw further influence from the Futurist movement. Not only would he embrace the Futurists' love of technology and the machine civilization, but he would push their fondness for noise to the very boundaries of the extreme.
Working in his ZDF studio, Akita quickly gained notoriety as a purveyor of a musical genre composed solely of pure, unadulterated noise. Consequently, in 1982 Masami founded the first Noise label, Lowest Music and Arts. He would eventually coin the phrase "Noise Composition" as a description for his sound, and display his pre-recorded Noise via live performances. These presentations have included Akita's electronics battling with traditional instruments like drums and guitar, as well as solitary shows with nothing more than the man standing before a table strewn with homemade equipment.
The full extent of Merzbow's discography is probably only known to Masami himself, but the unofficial count has now surpassed 170 releases on cassette, vinyl, and CD on a diverse array of labels worldwide.