Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Best of 2009

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

I’m hopeless at picking the best record of any particular year but I will give you a list of things that were released this year that rocked my world.

Golden Sores – a Peaceable Kingdom

TODD – Big Ripper

Black Boned Angel – Verdun

Derek Rogers – Color Shield

finneyerkes – Gather and Sing

Chord – Flora

Prurient – Cocaine Death

Hospitals – Hairdryer Peace (it was released on CD this year so I’m counting it!)

Emeralds – What Happened

Daniel Menche – Kataract

Locrian – Rain of Ashes

Health – Get Color

Aaron Dilloway – Chain Shot

MerzbowFukurou: 13 Japanese Birds Pt.2

Merzbow – Camouflage

Wolf Eyes – Always Wrong

.sndAtavism

Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts

Sunn 0))) – Monoliths and Dimensions

Khanate – Clean Hands Go Foul

Melvins – Chicken Switch

John Wiese – Circle Snare

KTL – IV

What did I miss?

Ducks Battle Satan

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

Well I suppose it was time to change the name of this blog. Noisenoisenoise as a name has been shitting me so I decided to shell out some cash and actually fucking pay for a domain name.  The old blog will automatically link here but feel free to update your links.

Dave

Merzbow – Somei (Low Impedance) 2009

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise, Uncategorized on October 20, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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This was the first album Merzbow released in 2009, arriving from a small Greek label, Low Impedance. I suspect that had I heard this at the  time it was released and before I started receiving the 13 Japanese Birds records, my thoughts on this work may have been very different. But it was not until May of this year that I shelled out the cash for Somei  and by that stage Merzbow drumming in a free jazz style (and other styles for that matter) was no longer the novelty that it might have been when this first came out. In fact Somei is really a precursor to the whole 13 Japanese Birds thing in that it heavily features Akita doing the whole drumming thing but here it is much more restrained  than what you get on many of the 13 Birds records but had the title and art work had been any different you’d probably have thought that it is one of the recent series. To be fair, out of all of the recent Merzbow records I’ve heard barring a couple of the 13 Japanese Birds ones which have been excellent (Pt 2 for instance) my favourite (recent) Merzbow record has to be Tombo and I wonder whether this is because deep down I actually prefer his pure noise records rather than those which have some recognisable forms. I was reading a review of Oersted which appears on Amazon of all places, and the reviewer has an idea which I think has some merit: he differentiated the Merzbow records based on the harshness of the noise. So for instance he gave Pulse Demon an extreme rating, 1930 a very harsh rating, Merzbuta was given a low to moderate rating etc. As a general idea I think it is pretty good, but it become tricky when you have to start examining his latest work. There has to be more to differentiating Merzbow’s work than simply the harshness factor, and how do you in fact define harshness because my idea of harsh and your idea of harsh might be quite different. To truly make sense of  Merzbow’s work and to write a meaningful review I think a Merzbow record has to be considered on a criteria of  volume, the density of the layers, recognisable forms, repetition and rate of change  and whether when you chuck them all of them into the mix, the record actually works. And I think that might be some if the problem with his more recent works (particularly last years). The concepts by themselves are pretty good but what actually makes a Merzbow record interesting is two fold. Firstly are we hearing something new, for instance does  Merzbow’s take on an already recognisable form astonish and delight? Secondly if there are no recognisable forms,  is the way it is constructed and controlled great – does it allow me to reach some form of “noise nirvana” (I pinched that off Paul Hegarty). Basically is the record convincing as the work of someone who is at the top of his game or was it simply put together after breakfast and sent  to the latest small label to release.  Good Merzbow astonishes and delights. Is Somei good Merzbow? No not really. Is it a good noise record? As Sarah Palin would say – You betcha!

Merzbow – Dust of Dreams (Thisco) 2005

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise, Uncategorized on August 8, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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This is probably my favourite Merzbow record. Big call I know but hear me out. Dust of Dreams, for me, is a prime example of why no other noise artist gets close to the great man. The record kicks of with the 12 minute 1339 an exercise of the interplay of psychedelic rock groove  and harsh noise. The real treat is the epic 37 minute Dust of Dreams, a track that would have even the most casual Merzbow listener in noise heaven. Over its 37 minutes, the track is anchored by a recurring loop of ethnic drumming which in turn is obliterated, changes pitch and re asserts itself before being swallowed again by layers of pure distortion. The track alternates between density and being flooded with light. It is in a work godhead. The final track leaves the  psychedelic forms of the first two tracks behind and embraces a quasi-industrial feel. It’s all great stuff. I’m not sure how readily available this is and I think I bought this from the Blossoming Noise website. Thisco is a tiny Portuguese label and kudos to them for releasing my favourite Merzbow record.

Merzbow – Uzura: 13 Japanese Birds Pt.5 (Important) 2009

Posted in Merzbow, Music, noise, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 7, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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The intent behind Uzura is a bit different to his earlier four releases in his series. The titles of the  three tracks is Requiem for the 259000 quails culled at a farm in Toyohashu Part 1-3, so I suppose this release is firmly in the vein of Merzbow’s other angry message albums like Bloody Sea, Peace for Animals and Mizano. Except this, like its previous albums in the 13 Bird series, follows a similar formula. Thingskick off with the mad drumming overlaid with Merzbow’s patented scree and hiss. I’ve heard it before and while it is fine for what it is , I’m was looking forward to something a bit fresher. The odd thing about these Birds records is the fact that on each of them the final two tracks are the ones which are truly interesting. The second track starts off as a generic Merzbow track before almost stopping dead half way through and re-emerging beat-filled and full of light before it gradually becomes denser. Its bang on full of those swirling textures and surprises that make Merzbow ‘s work so exciting. The final track starts off with some subtle mad drumming and a sound that is something akin to an oboe and what initially sounds like human wailing quickly becomes a different oboe-type noise before sounding again like something almost mournful and human. Shit it’s good. Almost like free-jazz, goth Merzbow but quiet and restrained.  It of course quickens, slows down, adds some retro synth noodling and that siren effect he uses so well.  This is another great addition to the series. Can he keep it up is the question.

Double Leopards – Halve Maen (Eclipse) 2003

Posted in Double Leopards, Drone, Music, noise, Religious Knives, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 24, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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I don’t know why I hadn’t got hold of this until a couple of weeks ago. A Hole is True, Double Leopards last CD from recollection, is one of my favourite drone/noise CD’s of all time. I suppose every copy I’d seen until recently has been prohibitively expensive.

Double Leopards were a quartet when they recorded this (Chris Gray, Marcia bassett, Mike Bernstein and Maya Miller). Marcia Bassett also records as Zaimph and with Matthew Bowers as Hototogisu, Miller and Bernstein are now half of the awesome Religious Knives and I suppose Gray is off doing his own thing as well.  Halve Maen was originally a vinyl only release on the vinyl only Eclipse Records. In 2005 they re-released it on CD and I don’t often comment on packaging on this blog but the packaging here is a replica of the gatefold 2 LP vinyl. It is really well done. Lovely stuff indeed.

So what of the actual music? Well I think this record is actually a bit easier on the ears than A Hole is True. They concentrate on drone with a psychedelic twist. It doesn’t have the obvious rock influences of Religious Knives but if you love that band you can hear a link between the two groups most easily on this. I’ve read some comparisons to Stars of the Lid, a band which I’ve only started listening to this year and in some senses the comparisons are justified. They both specialise in drone but Halve Maen is a much darker and less achingly beautiful variant than Stars. It’s also a less visceral and industrial feel than A Hole is True. It’s certainly Dark but not as evil as their final album. In many ways I prefer Halve Maen to A Hole is True but if you like your noise/drone you should  really track down both. 

This is them live and being scary from the Fun for None DVD. more representative of Hole is True than Halve Maen but great none the less. 

Live at ATP 2006. Probably a bit closer to Halve Maen.

Ed Hall – Gloryhole (Trance Syndicate) 1991

Posted in Butthole Surfers, Ed Hall, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 15, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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In my younger days I was a bit of a label whore. Still am come to think of it. One of the labels I followed was the Texas label Trance Syndicate. Run by King Coffey of the Butthole Surfers, Trance Syndicate was the  home of a delightful bunch of miscreants such as Crunt, Crust, Pain Teens, …And You Wil Know Us By The Trail Of the Dead and this bunch of acid drenched punks, Ed Hall. I actually forgot that I owned this until I did a bit of a trawl through my CD’s over the weekend and suffice to say, I had not played  it in years. To my rapidly fading hearing Ed Hall sound to me like Primus combined with the Butthole Surfers with a liberal dose of Jesus Lizard. Gloryhole was the third record they released and probably the first great record they produced. The other Ed Hall record I’ve heard is worthwhile tracking down is Motherscratcher and if I offload some stuff on ebay then I might just pick it up. The thing about Ed Hall is that their sense of humour sometimes disguised the fact that they could really play (check out the video at the end).

I actually remember buying Gloryhole in a record store in Canberra when I was visiting my sister around the time it was released. I remember the press at the time was pretty indifferent to Ed Hall and the  other Trance Syndicate bands. I suppose it was the era of Sonic Youth, Nirvana and the mainstreaming of alternative music and bands such as Ed Hall were perhaps a little too  weird even for a world that allowed the Melvins  to be signed to a major label. It is great stuff and it has me all nostlgic to see what else I can uncover in my CD stash. I’m pretty sure I still have that Crunt record and an awful record by Crust. I think the Pain Teens record is long gone but Trail of the Dead’s fantastic debut is till floating around somewhere. Sadly Gloryhole is out of print (Trance Syndicate folded in 1999) but second hand copies turn up on ebay and amazon pretty regularly.

Live in 1992

Merzbow – Anicca (Cold Spring) 2008

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 20, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

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In the  last  month I’ve been reflecting on Merzbow and the  quality of his recent output.  This partially  in response to some comments people have left on the  various Merzbow posts that pepper  this blog. Looking back I think I have been way to generous in my assessments of Dolphin Sonar and Bloody Seas and I’ll admit Merzbear was a bit too favourable as well. Merzbear I can be forgiven for because it was my first Merzbow record. The other two I have issues with my critical analysis. My concern is that Merzbow, in recent years, seems to be descending into some sort of parody of himself. Does he really have something to say on records like Coma Berenices or is he merely going thorugh a paint by numbers approach to noise.  All of the albums I’ve  listed above are humourless slabs of generic , oscillating noise. My theory that his “issue” albums are some of the dullest things he’s done stands true. In fact I’ve never posted on Peace for Animals because, although their have only been 500 copies issued, it’s limited edition pap as far as I’m concerned. Dolphin Sonar has been his “major release” this year, if that’s a fair thing to say, but he’s also released a couple of other things this year that you may have missed. One I certainly missed was Anicca and I vacillated for a while before deciding to buy it. The description of this record is Merzbow drumming. Based on that description I felt somewhat safe that this was not going to be on a par with some of his suckyrece nt output. Over Anicca’s three tracks my faith in Merzbow is only mildly restored.  As an aside,can reviewers of these records not solely rely on the record company press release and actually listen to the fucking thing. The drum heavy noise that all of the reviews speak of lasts for the first track only. And there is some charm in Merzbow going spastic on a drum  kit while he layers the  whole mess with his trademark electronic squall. The remaining two lack the tribal rhythms of the first track (which I say is the best thing on here). Annica Part 2 is just dreadful. Part 3 is a bit between, there i some nice black metal ambience mashed in there which gives it a bit of context. Is it as mind blowingly good as 1930, Sphere, Merzzow, Animal Magnetism, Aqua Necromancer, Frog  or Merzbeat? Well no. Is it better than Dolphin Sonar? Well that’s not fucking hard quite frankly. If your budget has limits and you’re negotiating your way through Merzbow then buy any of those mind blowing album’s I’ve listed. Anicca has a bit of interest for Merzbow fans like myself but, you know, I’m thinking I need more than that before I take the  plunge again. Austin, Seth, Azzief, 26 help me out here.

Sun City Girls – You’re Never Alone With A Cigarette Volume 1 (Abduction) 2008

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

If you hadn’t already figured out by the number of spelling errors on this blog, I’m often drunk when I post. In the interests of raising the standards and the fact that I won’t be getting my own copy for a couple of weeks, I’ve invited Seth (a reader of this blog) to write up his thoughts on a pretty exciting re-release. I’m not sure if I’m right but like myself, I think Seth is new to this noise/avant stuff. There is only one comment I’d make in addition to Seth’s thoughts and that is the fact that this is titled Volume 1 is a pretty exciting teaser that there might be more Sun City Girls re-releases coming our way. Take it away Seth.

The Sun City Girls are a bunch of guys from Arizona with not much to do other than make strange noises with distorted guitars whilst releasing numerous albums that are incredibly difficult to find. Which is nice, if you’re into that sort of thing. “You’re Never Alone With A Cigarette” is a singles compilation consisting of six songs that were recorded during the sessions for their most well-known album, “Torch of the Mystics”, and three previously unreleased tracks that all sound like something from a spaghetti western soundtrack (although with a LOT more distortion on the guitars). All of the songs are instrumental, except for “The Beauty of Bengazi” which seems to be sung in a made-up language.

Since the only release by the Sun City Girls that I had heard prior to this was “Dante’s Disneyland Inferno”, I didn’t really have much idea of what to expect from this album, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the material contained on it. The first song, “100 Pounds of Black Olives” consists of a cacophony of distorted guitar and bass that gets faster and louder until the fuzz overwhelms your ears, before slowly burning out. It actually seemed very reminiscent of some of the material from Can’s “Tago Mago”, especially the improvised guitar parts from “Paperhouse”. “Sev Acher” is one of the three Morricone-esque songs, the other two being “Amazon One” and “Wide World of Animals”, all of which are all fantastic and probably the best songs on the album. The sheer skill of the musicians is also worth noting, with the hyperactive acoustic guitar twang on “The Beauty Of Benghazi” and the hypnotic riffs contained within “Wide World of Animals” being excellent testaments to the impressive skill of the Sun City Girls. The only song I’m not particularly fond of is “The Fine-Tuned Machines Of Lemuria”, which just drags on for too long and seems to be a bit self-indulgent. It does contain some nice trumpet parts, though.

In conclusion, this album is a great starting place if you have even the slightest interest in exploring the vast discography of the Sun City Girls. All of the songs are enjoyable and the production is top-notch. Check it out if you can find it (or just steal it!*).

*You probably shouldn’t actually steal it, you might get in trouble or something. Not that you have much chance of finding it, anyway.

evil fons

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

evil fons is a guy that comments on this blog from time to time. Besides a healthy love of The Dead C, he’s also a pretty good (I’m sorry about this) noisician.

Check out http://www.myspace.com/evilfons  to hear what he’s doing.

New layout

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

I hope I haven’t frightened anyone off with the new layout. This one is a bit more user friendly and has a search function. Which is nice.

The Dead C – Harsh 70’s Reality (Siltbreeze) 1992

Posted in The Dead C, Uncategorized, yellow swans on September 3, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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So, last week I’m out for a meeting with one of my colleagues and I decide on the way back to the office to stop by my post office box to see if the international postman has bestowed blessings on me. He had and as I opened the parcel the following conversation occurred.

Colleague: Oh Goody now we can listen to a CD on the way back to the office

Me: Umm … You’re not going to like this.

Colleague: I like all sorts of music. It is alternative?

Me: More underground I think

Colleague: Well lets put it on (she unwrapped the CD and put it in the very tasteful Toyota’s CD player. She politely listens for ten seconds). Dave there’s no tune.

Me: Yup I think that’s the point. It’s pretty cool isn’t it?

Colleague: (Becoming uncomfortable) You actually like this?

Me: Yep

Colleague: Why.

Me: Well Its great to test the boundaries of music; to listen to sound as opposed to tune. To hear what artists do to sound. To hear how sounds collide, intermingle and stand alone against silence. Umm, sometimes I just need a record to bring me the noise. Don’t you notice how hypnotic and ambient the noise becomes. It creates its own music.

Colleague: Perhaps it’s easier to appreciate through headphones.

And there the conversation ended. I don’t plan to post in any length about this until I digest the other four Dead C CD’s that should arrive soon. In a previous The Dead C post I said that I couldn’t hear the Dead C in what the Yellow Swans do. Well after listening to this for the last week I fucking do now. Thanks for the tip Mr Swanson.

My first music missive

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

Is it just me or is music really fucking boring at the moment?  Is there any original music anymore? Have we reached a point in our culture where everything has been done before?

The answer is sadly “yes”.  I was reading the review of the new Pissed Jeans record on pitchfork yesterday and it occurred to me that rock criticism and hence rock music is all about looking over one’s shoulder. Does everything new have  to be referenced to the past. I just bought Pissed Jeans’ new record “Hope for Men” off Amazon. I bought it without listening to one track (don’t believe in downloading). Pitchfork tells me it references the great US punk band Flipper. Good enough for me and I’ll let you know whether they are right once the record arrives in a week or so.

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