OM Electrique is the earliest MERZBOW recording but remained unreleased until 2000 when it was included as part of the Merzbox collection.
I started playing around 1972, in a studio, with schoolmates from my junior high school. We mainly played blues-rock influenced by Cream and Jimi Hendrix. I was on drums. From around 1973, I began leaning towards improvised music. It was around then that I began playing with Kiyoshi Mizutani. The key influences during that period were King Crimson's Earthbound, Albert Ayler's Bells, and The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat. I started listening to more free jazz, free improvised music and contemporary music around the time I was in senior high school. As my band started to play more improvised music, I began rejecting the act of playing, and as in conceptual art, eventually rejecting the act of musical performance altogether.
It was around then that I first heard Pierre Schaeffer's Symphonie pour un homme seul, and this had tremendous impact on me. I was also quite influenced by Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, Xenakis' Electro-Acoustic Music and Walter Marchetti's Homemade Electric Music, and began producing tape music myself, using only non-instrumental sound = NOISE.
Punk rock came about around 1976, followed by new wave and alternative music, and in that vein there were the industrial bands like Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and SPK, but I differed from them in that I was creating my tapes using field recordings of sounds I recorded in my environment. The Sony Walkman came out at that time, ushering in a new era of the cassette tape as a primary medium. That's how I came to make this terribly cheap noise music for cassette tape. Those were the beginnings of Merzbow, around 1979.Masami Akita / Merzbow interview, Self-titled, 2019