I will be the first to admit that I just don’t get the sheets of noise and pounding haphazard rhythms of the noise genre. For me this is musical chaos and it does not fit into my musical spectrum. Noise for the sake of noise? Or is there something deeper happening?
I am no stranger to noisy music --- a lot of what I buy and listen to would be considered noisy by most people. But at the heart of this music is some sort of direction or progression of ideas that creates something more than extreme noise terror. There is also the fact that I have released Merzbow albums and done a collaboration with him. However, I am still not a fan of everything Merzbow has done – I tend toward the releases that have structure and rooted in some musical theory (no matter how vague).
The counter argument is that I am not being open minded enough. That I have preconceived notions of what music is and/or can be. One could argue that I block out anything that does not meet my narrow definition but I do not think that is the case. I listen to a lot of music outside the norm --- I am thinking of field recordings (this definitely does not meet the standard definition of music) or the ultra minimalists (see Phil Niblock) who I cannot get enough of. So, I don’t think the issue is with my lack of acceptance. I just don’t get it --- I don’t see the point or why I should listen.
So, now we are left with this tape release and it is definitely everything I don’t get. The music is brutal and relentless --- sheets of white-hot noise that feed upon themselves and plummet the listener. At times the rhythms settle into the power noise genre and I am reminded of the some of the great releases on Ant-Zen. But then the artist seems to realize that they have fallen into an accepted musical idea and the moment is obliterated. This approach repeats itself through out the tape and nothing more is offered. This is noise.
On the flip side there is the fact that this kind of release fits into a long line of tape tradition. These kinds of releases have been around a long time in tape culture and they are very important (one could argue that Merzbow got started this way). This kind of music pioneered the idea that music should be free (as in beer) and opened up non-traditional distribution models. So I have to give the artists credit for continuing this important ideal.
This isn’t the first noise artist I have had to review. In that case, the release was split into a 7-inch and a CDR. The 7-inch was just noise but the CDR redeemed that release because it explored deeper territories. Unfortunately there is nothing here that can redeem this cassette. But I must ask myself if this is true for noise fans? The answer is probably not --- I am sure a noise fan would enjoy the brutality and for the most part this review will be ignored (and maybe it should be ignored?) by those who are into noise.
Finally, I do think that this artist has talent and if they wanted to they could craft some interesting noise based music (I am thinking of music in the Ant-Zen style). I am giving the release a five because I don’t get it and maybe there is some who does. 5/10 -- Daniel De Los Santos (16 June, 2010)