noise and capitalism (1 Viewer)

BC

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a ropey area of discussion. no other style of music / type of sound in recent years has had so much pseudo-academic rambling thrown haphazardly all over it.

i'm not talking about hegarty's work here, as he comes from a genuinely academic background and he approached the topic of noise in terms of experimental music in specific way. i'm more talking of the kind of vague wordiness of the likes of the wire magazine, music journalists trying desperately to pretend they are not mere music journalists by hiding behind vapid references to other areas of thought and posturing language which carries connotations with academia.
it's fucking embarrasing to read the kind of hype that surrounds a band like wolf eyes for instance. it's worse than the excesses of pretentious modern conceptual art. and it's all about the payments of publicists and advertisment. not to mention the inevitably ill-conceived and error-ridden books such journalists inevitably publish. which are inevitably exercises to force music and artists into rigid stereotypes to fit the compartment being pushed by the writer. misinterpretation, revisionism and selectivity behind the principal mentods used.
the section in simon reynolds' book on the experimental music of early eighties britain - from where pretty much all current "noise music" took it's templates and style directly (and which was itself inspired by the academic experimental composers such as ashley, lucier, ferrari and stockhausen) - is such a hopelessly stupid and shallow interpretation that i honestly wonder why he bothered. he certainly would have made less of a fool of himself and a writer and researcher had he not. hegarty's work on the other hand is at least genuine in its tone and the rigours of both research and enthusiasm. attali's work is a significant one, but one must bear in mind that he is not talking about "noise music" as we would generally consider it, and it's a mistake to apply it to that style of experimental music without acknowledging that it's about how music functions as forms of production. i have yet to read mattin's writings, but the title certainly suggests that it may well tie in with attali. also the fact that mattin is active in creating "noise music" (working with luminaries of the style such as philip best and junko) and in vocal opposition to process of copyright. i would say that if one wanted to find classic texts they could apply to current "noise music" they would be better working with what the futurists and john cage wrote rather than attali, unless they are explicitly talking about politics and production.

so why are so many words thrown at "noise music"?
the word noise itself is often used in an incredibly loose way, as it's various definitions can be either very specific (white noise for instances is all frequncies at the same level at once - in fact it has a generally soothing effect on people) or completely subjective (any unwanted or unpleasant sound). current "noise musicians" are much more concerned with making use of the latter definition. because of this subjectivity there are some sigificant problems with "noise music" as a genre, in my view. principally the ridiculous level of meaningless classification ("harsh noise", "wall noise", "power electronics" anyone?), a lack of direction and editing, which leads to the majority of noise music being hugely generic, pedistrian and pointless, and a degree of nostalgia and conservatism, rather like the punk revival scene (witness the many "power electronics" fans who dislike whitehouse for not doing they same things they did 25 years ago, and for daring to use rhythm and melody!). all that said, these above problems are to be found in any style of music currently, but given that "noise music" is so often supposed to be challenging and uncompromising, it is a rather glaring example.
 

ddmurph

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off topic but ...

it's fucking embarrasing to read the kind of hype that surrounds a band like wolf eyes for instance. it's worse than the excesses of pretentious modern conceptual art. and it's all about the payments of publicists and advertisment.
there hasn't been any hype surrounding wolf eyes in years. at least not that i'm aware of. and whatever hype existed in the first place had very little to do with the people behind the band themselves but more on sub pop's side circa burned mind. that record was a watershed in my opinion ... big label, very widespread distribution, mainstream press coverage, etc, etc. of course a lot of what was written was gonna be bollox ... a lot of people reviewing that album would've had very little background or interest in "noise". anyway, most importantly from my point of view is that they totally stepped up to the task with burned mind (although i know a lot of people are going to disagree with me there). it has as much to do with 80's hardcore as it has with TG, whitehouse, etc. for a lot of people it was the record that they could say "i'm not normally into that sort of thing but i like this". at the same though, it didn't feel diluted or compromised in the slightest. for what it was, the label it was on/the exposure it was going to get, it was perfect. plus, i still think it totally rules.

also, all the wolf eyes guys have been doing shit for a long time (universal indians, beast people, etc, etc) and operate very much on a "grass roots" level, a world away from publicists, etc.



the experimental music of early eighties britain - from where pretty much all current "noise music" took it's templates and style directly
i don't think this is entirely accurate. it's a hugely important factor in a lot of cases without a doubt but i wouldn't say it's the sole template for pretty much all current "noise music". stuff like lafms, sound poetry, musique concret, electronic composition, fluxus, etc, etc all have as much to do with what currently falls under the noise umbrella as the early 80's UK axis. it depends how narrowly "noise music" is defined of course but even if you limit it to the harsher end of the spectrum, the whitehouse -> japanese noise -> current harsh noise thread is easily disrupted by someone like airway (live at lace has long been cited by mikawa, etc as ground zero for japanese noise). not to mention stuff like masayuki takayanagi, etc which can still out-noise any of the best. even leaving out the japanese link in the thread, gx jupitter-larsen has been active as haters since the very early 80's at least. anyway, kinda gone off on a tangent here but basically, i don't think it's accurate to trace all current "noise music" back to just the early 80's UK scene (edit: although, again, i don't mean underestimate how important that stuff is). and i don't think it's fair to say that most current "noise music" is just a rehash of shit from the past (early 80's UK or not) either. there's plenty of people pushing in new directions all the time. just off the top of my head, from 2009, john wiese - circle snare and dave phillips - they live are two of the best (new) "noise" records i've heard in a long long time. as to whether either are actually "noise" records or not (well, the dave phillips one anyway) is another matter but that's a whole other argument.

anyway, this seems as good place as any to post this ... http://southwarknoise.blogspot.com/ ... resonance fm series "exploring seminal & influential noise recordings". does a really great job of capturing the diversity of "noise" in my books. the rumpsti pumpsti show in particular is amazing



back on topic somewhat ...

attali's work is a significant one, but one must bear in mind that he is not talking about "noise music" as we would generally consider it, and it's a mistake to apply it to that style of experimental music without acknowledging that it's about how music functions as forms of production ... i would say that if one wanted to find classic texts they could apply to current "noise music" they would be better working with what the futurists and john cage wrote rather than attali, unless they are explicitly talking about politics and production.
this is 100% correct


i'm really looking forward to reading this (noise & capitalism). mattin rules

Mattin said:
It is more important to fuck the minds of the audience than to fuck your ears - and vice versa.
http://www.mattin.org/essays/THESES_ON_NOISE.html
 

Red_Dog

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Guys long posts!

Just try and keep it down to about 30 words and one or two points per post ok. Makes it more digestible.Thanks
 

ddmurph

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maybe somewhat related, maybe not ... amazing interview with rudolf eb.er (runzelstirn & gurgelstock) here ... http://www.tinymixtapes.com/Runzelstirn-Gurgelstock

What are some of the most successful techniques to opening up people’s senses?

PUTTING ’EM INTO AN EXTRAORDINARY SITUATION. NOISE ALONE CAN BE CONSUMED JUST AS POP. DISTURBING BEHAVIOUR - YOU MENTIONED - CAN BE CONSUMED AS A CIRCUS-NUMBER. YOU’VE TO BREAK ANOTHER BORDER. SEARCH AND DESTROY THAT BORDER. SEARCH BECAUSE THAT BORDERS ARE ALWAYS HIDDEN. SOMETIMES IT’S JUST TOO SIMPLE!

IF NOTHING WORKS, TAKE A SLEDGE.
IN TAIPEI I ONCE WAS HIRED, THAT WAS WHILE I WAS GOAT-SHEPERD IN THE MOUNTAINS, I TOOK THREE OF MY GOATS DOWN TO THE BOURGEOIS OPENING-PARTY. THE GOATS HAD SUCH A FUN RAMMING HORNS INTO ASSES OF CHAMPAING SUCKING BITCHES, LETTING GO NEXT THEIR EXPENSIVE HIGHHEELS. I DON’T KNOW WHO WAS LAUGHING HARDER; ME, THE GOATS, OR MY FRIENDS IN THE AUDIANCE. PERFECT PANIC.

MY ROOSTER DID SUCH A WELL AKTION TOO. SO PROUD TO BE ON STAGE. HE KNEW HE IS THE MASTER OF THE CEREMONY, WITH PICK-UPS ON HIS NECK.
 

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