13.05.08 - 02:42pm
Sometimes people seem so eager to be influenced by one another in the music-making community that I’m surprised they haven’t got white wool growing out of their heads. Somewhere I’ve got some video footage of me standing on Cornish moorland ranting about how everyone’s into Noise, or Free Folk, and musicians are falling over themselves to try and incoporate aspects of these genres into their work. The Noise thing is particularly interesting, because here is a type of music that should resist all but the most determined connosieur of wrongness, and yet Wolf Eyes et al are underground superstars. I saw the band live a while ago, and they were really good – much more ROCK than I thought they would be in terms of rhythmic flow and riffage. I also own some of their records and I find them quite interesting for their openess to sonic possibilities. On the other hand I’m annoyed by Wolf Eyes because there’s something kind of fucked up about the way their cultural product is consumed. It just isn’t right that some skinny kid in a cap at a gig can find genuine aesthetic reward in the spectacle of a middle-aged American in a black T-Shirt and long hair twisting an oscillator and punching the air with a beercan. These are the reasons why:
Japanese folk, amongst others, have been doing this for ages. Why do white Americans make it “cool” and get paid?
It’s great to see people expanding their horizons but there is a danger that if you take something that is meant to have an inherently repellant quality to it and turn it into some beer-swilling machismo rockfest to bang your head to then you have robbed it of something.
I will now contradict that by questioning why a “free” music shouldn’t stumble across a tune once in a while, or simply a tone that doesn’t sound unpleasant? Will people think they are gay, or have sold out? These bands seem to have gone up a bit of a stylistic cul-de-sac to me. Why do the drums have to be this sludgy thud, the riffs doomy, the electronics so squealy? Why is the imagery of the titles so cartoonishly bleak? Leper War? Stabbed In The Face?
Are these guys consciously or unconsciously providing the soundtrack to American foreign policy? Should they be?
I dunno, I’m a bit confused about my take on the whole thing. The problem is that making extreme music isn’t actually the hardest job in the world. A lot of what I do is basically taking random noises and trying to make them sound evocative in some way, and evoking pain, dread and violence doesn’t really do it for me. I guess I’m a bit better at “sad”, “regretful” and “confused”. I mean, if you had told me 5 years ago that Boomkat would sell out of the latest primitive free electronics sludgecore title in next to no time I would have thought I’d have died and gone to heaven, but I feel like I ordered the wrong revolution. I guess I was waiting for something a bit more like KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT, but I can’t even get into that. It sounds too clever, too mannered.
You see, me and Dave rail against this kind of thing because we unceasingly demand total PURITY and we usually end up rattling. We make up bands with names like Floorpedal (3 or 4 boys crouching over pedals onstage) and Noise Eyes (see above) and we talk about picking fights on the net. I was going to make a Noise Eyes MySpace page but I’ve got too much MySpace action already, and yet I wanted to upload some of the music that I’ve made lately on the TEAC reel to reel. It’s more or less all loops of MPC and OSCar, filtered, FX’d and pitched, plus multiple layers of backwardsness. Some of it is a little chewy, but some of it sounds quite nice, if you get me? I’ve been trying to upload it to Esnips all morning, because for ages everytime a file uploaded I would get an error message saying “Upload denied. Suspected copyright infringement” Jesus fucking Christ. Anyway, this is what I’m on about. I’m hoping you might like it because some of it sounds a bit sub-Wolf Eyes.
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