Archive for the noise Category

Mike Shiflet – Sufferers (Type) 2011

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on August 10, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Type records have been releasing some absolutely cracking records in 2011/2012. Two of the finest are the Mike Shiflet records Sufferers and Merciless. Both records were recorded just before Shiflet’s ground breaking Llanos record of last year. Sufferers came out at the end of last year and is my favourite of the two. It’s always hard to categorise Shiflet’s music. I suppose the starting point is to call the tracks on Sufferers drone but I just feel that the use of that term is just not quite right. There is a melancholic deliberateness to the work here.The sound moves incrementally and  in some ways it has the overall feel of an ambient version of Wolf Eye’s  Burned Mind record of a few years back. There is a lurching post apocalyptic field recording quality to the first few tracks but it’s Shiflet’s use of volume and intensity of the sounds that makes Sufferers a couple of steps away form an ordinary drone listening experience. This is drone for the rust-belt noise guys – the sort of thing which seeps into your consciousness to leave you just a little creeped out and extremely unsettled.  Tremendous.

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Thanks Keith Fullerton Whitman

Posted in Keith Fullerton Whitman, Music, noise on August 10, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

The flu kept me away on the night but this has made me very happy.

Haswell & Hecker – Blackest Ever Black (Warner Classics and Jazz) 2007

Posted in Florian Hecker, Music, noise, Russell Haswell with tags , , , on June 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

The location – Warner Classical and Jazz Corporate Office, London 2007

Phil: Thanks for coming everyone. As you know this meeting has been called to discuss the first quarter releases. So what have you all got?

Debbie: I have some great Ray Charles reissues.

Phil: Great – they’ll sell like fucking hot cakes. What else?

John: I’ve got a new 18 year old cello protegé from Malaysia.

Phil: Sounds good. Is she fuckable?

John: Hell yeah!

Phil: What do you have Bill?

Bill: Well I’ve been reading the Wire and there are  these two guys called Florian Hecker and Russell Haswell and they are into sound art and shit.

Phil: I’m listening …

Bill: See what they do is feed pictures into Xenakis’s UPIC machine to produce sound and music. It is totally off the charts! It sounds like electronic squelches and drones and stuff. It’s  a total mind fuck.

Phil: It may be the amount of PCP I’ve just had but that sounds like an absolute winner.

Bill: They may not be fuckable but the sound totally fucks with your mind so same same if you get my meaning.

Phil: You had me at “may”.

Fast forward three months later

Phil: Bill can you come in here for a second.

Bil: Sure, what’s up?

Phil: You’re fired. Get out.

* I quite liked it by the way.

Merzbow – Merzphysics (Youth Inc) 2012

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise on June 11, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

The days of forking out a fortune for these sorts of releases may be coming to an end. This wonderful 10 CD boxset of previously unreleased tracks from 1994 cost me an absolute fucking fortune and I have kids for fuck’s sake. I shouldn’t be spending my children’s school fees on obnoxious noise.

The years 1994-1996 were an incredible time for Merzbow records. Think about records like Pulse Demon, Venerology, Mercurated, Oested, Noise Embryo, Green Wheels, Noizhead, Spiral Honey – all are amazing and among the best work Merzbow ever produced. The purchase of Merzphysics also coincided with me finally seeing Merzbow live. That must rate as one of the best shows I’ve witnesses. The wonderful Lawrence English from Room 40 took advantage of Merzbow being brought out by a festival in another state and organised a free show at the excellent Judith Wright Centre. For an hour Merzbow wore some noise making contraption as a guitar and rubbed it with various implements (my favourite was a plastic spaghetti ladle). It created a continual bombardment of fuzz and feedback , the noise pulsed, chugged, zoomed and threatened. Around the forty minute mark my friends ran for it. It was simply too much for them. I stayed but in those last fifteen minutes things got dark. The noise just became so amazingly oppressive. The floor of the theatre started to feel liquid. It stopped the hipsters who were trying to mosh and dance, dead in  their racks. It was the most extreme sound experience I have ever had. The whole vibe of the room changed, blackened. It just became  gobsmackingly evil. After that experience, listening to Merzphysics is an absolute doddle.

The ten discs that make up Merzphysics are similar in form to those albums that I listed above. These are the types of Merzbow records that I really like getting stuck into. The tracks eschew the recognisable forms of his later work and embrace the multilayered pure noise that pretty much defines the genre. The pleasure in records like Merzphysics is to get amongst the layers to tease out the sounds, to squeeze below the levels of aggression to find its beating heart. The tracks are probably a bit less harsh than those on Venerology and Pulse Demon but this is not a box set for the uninitiated. In many ways I prefer this to Merzbow’s last great boxset Merzbient. Although Merzphysics as a physical package isn’t particularly impressive compared to Merzbinet (and it is much more expensive), the tracks are more the sort of things that I look for in great Merzbow tracks. I just wish it was more affordable so people can hear it. If you can afford it, buy it. The only way of getting hold of it is to buy it off the Merzbow website.

Phil Blankenship & David Reed – Rhinestone (Troniks) 2012

Posted in David Reed, Music, noise, Phil Blankenship on June 6, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Troniks, the label of Phil Blankenship best known for his work in The Cherry Point has been a bit quiet.  For a good many years Troniks was releasing some of the best noise records around. One of the first noise records I tracked down was the extraordinarily brutal Live At Camp Blood, a ferocious work out between The Cherry Point and Yellow Swans which in the past few weeks I’ve been coming to terms with after a few years break. Troniks was also behind the release of one of my favourite noise records of all time, Lasse Marhaug’s The Great Silence. If you head on over to the Troniks site right now you’ll find a ridiculously good deal where Phil will send you five CD’s for $20 with shipping included anywhere in the world.  That is one  hell of a deal and if you take him up on it I reckon you should make Rhinestone one of your five because it is just fantastic.

In the past few years the US noise scene  has taken a side step with the most influential bands breaking free of the constraints of noise. The nice thing about artists like Richard Ramirez, Sam McKinley from The Rita and Phil Blankenship is that their noise vision has remained undiluted and that my friends, suits me just fine.

On Rhinestone  Phil Blankenship teams up with David Reed a man whose various projects have been released on Troniks in the past. The single 30 minute track is a noise nerd’s wet dream. The thing I really liked about it was that the static wall of noise which is used by many Troniks artists as the main game is only a supporting player here. That wall of static provides the bedrock to all of the other tricks and noise that gets piled on top. Everything from the sounds of a set of suitcases being thrown down some stairs, some guitar style feedback, Merzbow-esque maximalism, amp buzz and Wolf Eyes post industrial rust belt chic to name a few are messily placed on top of each other  to create what I think may be the first great noise record of 2012.

Mike Shiflet – Gutter Divas (Dokuro) 2010

Posted in Drone, Mike Shiflet, Music, noise with tags , , , on June 5, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Mike Shiflet has had a great run of releases recently and I promise I’ll get around to posting on them soon but I really wanted to write about this one. Gutter Divas was a cassette only release from 2010 which appeared in very limited quantities on an Italian label, Dokuro. There are still copies floating around on the internets but you need not  worry about such things because for  couple  of bucks you can get your own copy straight of Mike’s bandcamp site. I actually find it extraordinarily difficult to write about Shiflet’s music. He has graciously agreed to an interview but  for  a man who makes a living  cross examining witnesses I’m really struggling to come up with a set of questions that don’t sound lame.

Anyway, Gutter Divas is a two track release which focuses on static-heavy drone. The first track Gutter Divas uses sudden changes in volume to, I don’t know, raise  the tension and  … look what I think he does is smash the passiveness of the usual listening experience that tends to be the fall back position of people like me who are huge fans of the meditative qualities of drone. Drone is an overused term on this blog  and it has a many variants as any other genre but I suppose what Shiflet achieves is a more restless, industrial, overt form which is like a caffeinated ambience. The second track, They Don’t Have The Heart to Tell You is the type of straight up drone record where the subtle insertions of other frequencies and sounds and variations in volume keep the track from being purely static. Although it feels like much less is going  on than the first track, it is far more aggressive in the fact that the drone used is the type that changes the  listener’s ear pressure (which I actually like a fair bit). Gutter Divas is the Shiflet record I listen to the most and a pretty neat starting for those that have never heard him before.

Dave Phillips – ? (Heart and Crossbone) 2010

Posted in Dave Phillips, Music, noise with tags , , on May 28, 2012 by noisenoisenoise

Late last year I was posting about some record or another and several loyal readers began speaking very highly of Dave Phillips. At that time I had never heard of him yet after those comments I started to see his name everywhere. Phillips was one of the co-founders of hardcore group, Fear of God, and after their break up has been producing solo work under his own name.

If  my house caught on fire and I could only save ten of my CD’s I reckon this would probably be one of them. Phillips has moved along way from any semblance of hardcore on ?. This is a record that is all about embracing field recordings and sound collage in a, quite frankly, terrifying way. Much seems to have been written about the third track which to me sounds like a light bondage session with Satan. Nurse with Wound would often insert prurient sounds into their tracks but I don’t think anything comes close to the sheer and utter filth that Phillips puts together on this one.  Yet bum slapping, demonic grunting  and female moaning aside, the manner in which he fuses multiple layered bird calls, static, a loud and persistent heart beat, a swarm of flies, street sounds, accordion, doom piano and other goodies will have your average filed recording nut in fits of pleasure.  It’s like Daniel Menche, Nurse With Wound and Russell Haswell’s Wild Tracks all blended together to create something that is both challenging and accessible at the same time. ? is well worth your time.

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