22 February 2010
Is it just me or has Noise been more and more recognised as a valid genre of music in its own right with its attendant canon of artists who are now receiving their belated accolades via deluxe box sets, radio programmes and even a conference (coming up in July this year, more on it later)? Just last year alone, we have the Hijokaidan 30 CD retrospective behemoth set which, I think, came second due to the existence of the unbeatable 50 CD Merbox released back in 2000. Incapacitants, another Noise veterans also have a 1990s overview set unleashed last year, and it is now out of print. Government Alpha, a second generation Jap Noise act has its due saluted with a 4 CD box too.
Then this year, a 6 LP/DVD set has just been released of seminal noise 'out'fit from the Los Angeles Free Music Society axis, Smegma, from the 1970s/1980s. Sudden Infant, the mainstay of the Schimpfluch Gruppe, has also been canonised with a 2 volume 4 LP set out this month. Whew! And I am just talking about the sets which I am aware of. Hefty.
This somehow goes to support my feeling that Noise is now a proper, valid genre on its own: unlike a decade ago when Noise had been discussed as any form of musical/cultural fission of the status quo/musical practices/mindset which can range from Elvis to punk, it now has its own set of past progenitors and current practitioners. With record shops like Tochnit Aleph being one of the key flagship shops promoting and selling all things Noise as well as others, which champion the cause of Noise as a genre (Volcanic Tongue, Second Layer, for example)loudly on their websites.
Actually late last year, after I have found out that Salford University is organising a conference on Noise, I decided to crystalise some of my ideas about Noise in a proposal for the conference on, yes, Noise as a musical genre with a distinct past, present and future, as well as peripheral auxillary support network of record labels, magazines and festivals. I will be sharing some of my ideas for the proposed paper in this space in the near future.
Posted by Psychmetalfreak at 2/22/2010
19 February 2010
I was reading Greil Marcus's Lipstick Traces and was very inspired by the way he outlines a secret history of spiritual/intellectual search out of this material world of rude survival, crass competition in the name of 'effectiveness' and 'efficiency'. From the Brethren of Free Spirits to the Lettrists to the Situationists and to the Punks, it seems like there has always been a small group of people around who are always searching for the 'way out': out of mortal suffering, out of the capitalist downward spiral and out of a cultural cul de sac.
But how about the rest of humanity? Dont they care? Perhaps they do but the circumstantial factors some how dont allow them that luxury. Perhaps they are not even aware of alternative options. Or perhaps they have resigned to life and opt for the easier way out. But maybe people in the SI or the Punks simply think too much or they are just, bored.
It makes me ponder about the human condition; to reconsider the meaning of life more often each day. I have no answer and neither do I have a solution. But it just seems a lot, at least to me, to be able to say to myself, huck it, no matter how tired or jaded I am at my 'day-job' i must find time to read what I want to read, what i want to listen to and what I feel its worth watching. Putting in that extra effort to find out about the 'truths' and to squeeze out that marginal time/effort I have to digest them and think about them and sharing them sometimes, seems to me, to be my way of saying 'oh bondage, up yours!'
Posted by Psychmetalfreak at 2/19/2010
07 February 2010
I am very sad to announce in this space that one of the greatest voices/group in not just Japanese psych rock, but the entire genre, has just left the building last Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2010. Miura Shizuka, the leader and vocalist of psych rock band, Shizuka, ,took her own life and thus ending one of the greatest modern psych rock unit in the past decade or so. The band can sound beautifully fragile one moment and can easily rev up and crank up the distortion meter and volume level the next, she and her band featured past members from Fushitsusha and Les Rallizes Denudes and had released one studio and three live albums of gorgeous psychedelic bliss. She will be greatly missed.
Posted by Psychmetalfreak at 2/07/2010