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The whole Noise scene

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by page, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Ok , let me start this thread by saying that I believe myself to be a "musical scholar" of sorts. I am always listening to and researching new music and If I don't like something at first, I give it multiple trys.

    I used to dislike the whole "noise" rock scene, other than the Velvet Underground. Recently I started digging My Bloody Valentine alot. Then Neurosis hit me with their noiseish segments. Then of course came the titanic Earth and Sunn O)))( not big on Boris though) . Next was the Melvins' more experimental work. Comets on Fire, Birthday Party,Codeine, KK Null and Zeni Geva.Then came the godlike power of Krautrock . All this in 2005. I tried time and time again to get into the flagship of this genre of sorts : Sonic Youth. I heard the albums Goo and Dirty and was turned off big time. I thought they sounded like a Nirvana/Mudhoney type band , nothing experimental to my ears. Recently I digested consecutively the albums : Daydream Nation, EVOL,Bad Moon Rising,and A Thousand Leaves. HOLY FRIGGIN CRAP WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING?!?!?!?!?! This stuff is great. Each are different , yet each are insanely wild and daring. Evol and Bad Moon Rising are white noise nightmares. DayDream Nation is the missing VU album. A Thousand Leaves is what would happen if the Allmans, Can, and Birthday Party had a baby.
    I'm really starting to dig this stuff.

    So feel free to discuss and suggest away. The main purpose of these threads I make about what I'm getting into to is to document my musical journey and encourage others to join in.
  2. Corwin


    May 8, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    If I might toot my own horn a bit, I have some noise tracks posted here. And all done with a bass guitar (and some effects, of course). Well, OK, I used a keyboard on one track. It's also worth noting that it's not "noise rock" so much as it is "noise" or maybe "ambient noise". Kind of like Robert Fripp meets Merzbow.
  3. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    It took me a while to get into Sonic Youth as well. My personal fave is Sister, though that's more indie rock. The only thing about Sonic Youth is it made it alright for college students with more money than talent to dick around on stage for 15-45 minutes. Something I've experienced numerous times and it's always really annoying.

    Still, the good stuff is fantastic. In addition to the usual candidates for noise:Merzbow, Masonna, Whitehouse, Early Einsturzende Neubatuen, Flying Luttenbachs; check out Amps for Christ, (ex-Man is the Bastard project) and D. Yellow Swans (have released a crapload of CD-Rs, if you use soulseek you'll find a bunch of them.)

    Also, I'm going to plug the Providence scene and say you should check out Kites, Prurient and Pleasurehorse/Greenlee/Landed, Work/Death (one dude with a bass wreaking sonic havoc) and Mindflayer (Brian C. from Lightning Bolt's Other band).

    A couple of labels worth checking

    Load Records

    Hospital Productions

    Corleone Records
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Well, I don't know if those are considered "noise" bands in the strictest sense, when i think noise bands I think walls of noise with less structure than the bands you listed. Wolf Eyes, Merzbow, etc... it's pretty much stupid IMO. But seeing live noise bands are a pretty surreal experience, you get to feel the walls of noise and focus in on elements that don't exsist on album. Genres are stupid, but the bands you listed (other than the droney/krautrock ones) are usually called Noise Pop or Shoegazer or something stupid like that. Noise bands make me think pure abrasive bad.

  6. You wouldn't call Earth noise?

    I love Earth but up until about a year ago I would have called those guys idiots and their fans real fools.

  7. Thanks Against Will, I will definitely check out your suggestions, you always know good stuff.
  8. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I, being a genre connisseur, would call Earth, and similar groups, drone metal. It's still traditional music in a few ways: utilizes notes, chords and follows a more or less set, and identifiable rhythm and structure. Earth, Sonic Youth and other such groups like MBV and Jesus and Mary Chain have put extra emphasis on incorporating white noise, hiss and feedback into their songs and making them into new tools for songwriting. The sounds they utilize though, still follow a degree of order and structure.

    The majority of noise groups I mentioned, and much noise in general, are, at the very least, much more improvisational in their art. They don't really play "songs", from their albums. Rather, albums are seen as either documents of jam sessions, or as a prospectus of sorts of where the artists 'is' in terms of their creative output. It's also a necesary evil, as noise pays jack-all and albums are another way to generate revenue so you can afford to pay rent on your warehouse space that doesn't have any heating and to keep your bean and rice supply stocked. This has led to a practice of some groups releaseing very limited-run (like 50 copies) CD-Rs. They're cheap, generate income, and are keeping with the improvisatory nature of noise. At the same time, most noise groups don't have actual instruments, rather they loop a bunch of audio equipment together and play around with the feedback, or some of the better acts make their own synths and use those when they perform. Most of the time it's a lot of squeaks and squeals with occasional hollering.

    I hope I haven't turned you off to noise at all, because it really does turn your entire musical world inside out. You think of sound, rhythm and music in entirely different ways after you get into noise. Even the most abrasive metal, punk and hardcore sounds positively tuneful by comparison. It also opens your mind up to new sounds and styles, you come to appreciate tone and dynamics much more. At least this has been in my experience.

    At the same time though, it's hard to get into noise through albums and MP3s, it wasn't until I saw Kites perform in a Brown University building one winter that I really got what it was all about. Noise is very much something that should be experiencd live, then the recorded material makes more sense. And of course, you will not only have to deal with a LOT of recorded material; but you will also have to deal with the aforementioned pretentious college kids who think they know what noise is about and perform a 40 minute set of the dullest crap you've ever heard. The noise scene is very fragmented and is as diverse as it is numerous (and it is surprisingly numerous--like mid-80's punk times 10), so the ratio of good-to-crap is higher than with most genres. But that's due more to the transient nature of a lot of groups and performers than it actually is any fault of noise itself. So if none of the groups or people I told you about appeal to you, it's understandable, but if the chance arrises, I would definately try and see a noise show sometime. You will probably be, at the very least, bemusedly entertained--noise artists are total weirdos.
  9. Although I respect merzbow, I don't like his stuff. It seems too cold and processed for me. Can't really say that I can add anything else, great stuff has already been mentioned. But stop by the Sonic Youth board on their website. It's all cool and stuff. You can find me by my handle, DoubleNickels.

    edit: and I am possibly afraid that I am one of the pretentious kids who plays 40 minutes of the dullest crap ever. Thanks alot.
  10. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Most Earth I've heard is certainly musical. All I've heard though is Sunn Amps and Smashed guitars and Hex Or the Infernal Printing Method. The latter being incredibly musical, and reminding me of the dust bowl area during the depression, which is weird.

    Wanna see a live noise band? Get a guitar, lean it against an amp w/tons of distortion. Then, take your bass and slam the strings, once again with tons of distortion, and let it ring out for a while. Earth had some noisey bits, aka they'd feedback for a while, but it wasn't their focus.

  11. Or I could just turn the TV on a channel I don't have and let it rip right?
  12. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Gruntsplatter are a great noise act.

    Sunn O))) are also one of my favorites, but I consider them more drone than noise.

    Swans did some great things with noise on Soundtracks for the Blind.

    Nine Inch Nails - Further Down the Spiral has some great stuff as well.

    This is one of those genres where you either "get it" or you don't.
  13. I think the thing I love most about noise, and I'm quoting this from the online blog "Girlfriend at No Fun Fest" is that it's a very zen thing. Here's one sound, and it's changing. Like if you were to play a regular pop song at the beginning for 5 seconds, and then 5 seconds at the end. It sounds pretty much the same, as you could guess to how they got there. With noise it's complete guess work. If you get it, you're so enthralled with what's going on, you want to see what the hell is going to come out of the noise. And yes, go see a noise band. It'll hit you like a brick wall.
  14. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Sunn O)))

    Yes! You have to listen to them on bigass speakers and turn up the volume and just feel the house drone along..
  15. Jarcrew were an amazing noise-rock-punk-whatever kinda band. Too bad they don't exist anymore and their music (even online) is super hard to come by, but their music is amazing.
  16. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Good call man! I have pretty limited knowledge of this genre but Swans did some awesome stuff.
  17. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    I tip my hat to another Swans fan!

    Well, technically speaking I'm not wearing a hat, but I think you get the point.
  18. Do you guys consider Hella a part of this scene?

    I went to high school with Brian Gibson from Lightning Bolt. Brown U. warped his musical mind!!! LOL! He's a GREAT guy. Kudos to that project's longevity and acclaim!

  19. Does Digital Hardcore count as noise? I rather like Atari Teenage Riot and Alec Empire, although they veer between noise, techno and punk in varying degrees. I agree with Against Will in that it takes on a whole different dimension when seen live. Fun and games:)
    Throbbing Gristle are also worth a listen; "Hamburger Lady" is one of the most disturbing pieces of music I've ever listened to, although they're not so much white noise as a lot of these acts.
  20. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I know nothing of who the 'noise' bands are, but WCBN FM in Ann Arbor plays "Noise 'till Noon" every Monday and I find it the most enjoyable listening.

    After all my study, getting the notes and rythyms just right, along comes something to put it all asunder and force me to think and accept unconventional methods of making music (?) or whatever.

    I dig it.

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