What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Discussing gear, production, and ideas for making noise music. Enough JMJ, let's rock like Merzbow!

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AuralAntithesis
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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by AuralAntithesis » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:45 pm

I have been listening to noise for almost 15 years now, I am no expert. but here is my 2 cents. i have always liked weird music and the more weird the better.
One of my favorite things is indeed all the variations on the theme, Dark Ambient is one of my favorites, and the one most of my productions tend to lean toward. a lot of dark ambient and semi-industrial types of noise can have a lot of "musical" elements.

Noise concerts can be awesome when you have some opener that is like a Doom folk band, moves on to insane free jazz and ends with some berserk power electronics or harsh noise set.

Most of the time i like to space out / meditate and let my mind wander. This can be quite trans-formative.
I do love the performance art aspect of noise shows, I like to think about how they are getting the sounds they are producing, or what the personal motivations of the artist are. there used to be a bunch of DIY spaces willing to let noise artists perform in Seattle the "scene" feels pretty broken up at this point though.

There is a podcast called NOISEXTRA that can give a lot of context and recommendations for noise music.

one of my favorites. Seattle noise legends.
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer (much like kraut rock / techno must be played LOUD -crushingBASS- for maximum feels/emotion) :sb:
That's the most diabolical looking piece of equipment I've ever seen.
https://auralantithesis.bandcamp.com/

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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by BetweenTheEyes » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:47 am

Hello,

new to this forum and I'm excited that my first contribution can be about such a topic - it's an interesting question and I'd like to answer a little differently:

I got into noise in my late teens in the second half of the 90s and it was part of a development to explore ever more extreme styles of music such as crustpunk, grindcore, powerviolence, death metal, black metal...I have always considered noise to be music for those people who are looking for the most extreme, and if you say that you are more of a rock-listener then until a couple of years ago I would have said it's no surprise that you don't "get" noise (I will re-phrase this in a couple of sentences). So what got me into it at first was the fascination for the intensity of sound, listening to it simply blew me away in an almost physical way and it was a wild ride for my brain.

Something else that fascinated me was that I had no idea how those noise-guys made all these sounds. I then learned to use guitar pedals, but it was only later that I got into synths and found out that these can do all kinds of noise too. Now I'm taking the step from keyboard synths into the modular world, and I have been surprised how much noise is made in most demo videos for modules. And since I'm pretty sure that most people into modular synths are not into extreme styles of metal and hardcorepunk and don't feel about noise the way I do, and don't have that background of wanting ever more extreme sounds, I now do suppose it is very much possible to be a listener of more regular styles (be it rock, techno, whatever) and still to appreciate noise by coming from a modular synth approach.

If you say you can't get into it, well, there obviously is no need to. As others here have already described, many of us who enjoy noise can listen to it in a sort of contemplative way. If I recall correctly, Merzbow himself once explained that he'd wear ear protection when outside on the streets of Tokyo but that he'd consider his own music soothing to the ears. I also like the sort of psychedelic trip that it can be or like the soundtrack to a dark sci-fi movie.

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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by stepvhen » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:50 pm

I started making my own tracks around 2012. I made some recordings, formed and participated in an online noise collective, and gave out like, 8 tapes total. At some point there was a shift, and I was able to actually feel I had expressed myself through the music I was creating, instead of just creating a thing outside of myself. My "later works", if you can call it that, were more focused on conveying a meaning through this genre that is often without one.

I think what drew me to noise (making it) is that I was frustrated with my previous attempts at making music, or making at in general, which I had been trying to gel with for years and years. Suddenly, I could make a thing that was cannonically accepted as a form of art, and I was able to find a means to express myself through that. It was magical.

But all that said, I don't listen to (harsh) noise much these days. Only a few records I know well (Sissy Spacek S/T, Land of Lurches). Merzbow's Venerology always has brought on the same physiological feelings of my anxiety attacks, and I just don't need that anymore. And I have strong reservations on the noise scene in general, both producers and fans. For example, I love the sounds of The Rita, but I can't reconsile that with the almost-definitely-fetishistic aesthetic cocktail of sharks and ballet dancers; there's something going on there and I just don't want to investigate further because I want to keep enjoying the music as much as I can.

I like noise as a concept though because I think it more fully explores one of the limits of musical expression, and there are ideas and nuances in noise tracks that would not (or cannot) come about in other forms/genres. I can also now use it as a bar to measure other music against.

Also any noise track/album will develop a "hook" if you listen to it enough. Using the "music is/as patterns" idea, the whole arythmic track would become the whole pattern, and repeat listenings will reinforce that pattern, and noise becomes like radio music.

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Pyrrhix
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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by Pyrrhix » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:05 pm

There are lots of specific things about noise that I like, and much of that has been said by others in this thread. One thing I particularly like about listening to noise though is that the experience is often more akin to a physical sensation than a story. Music is often about what happens next (usually within a relatively small handful of possibilities), broad arcs... storytelling basically. Lyrics make this effect more pronounced. Good noise, on the other hand, just feels good in the way a physical pleasure does, immediately, in that moment in a way that music usually does not. Also, it's a pure enjoyment of texture, which I prefer high above melody and arrangement.

If anyone is looking for a great intro to noise music, I recommend this classic compilation. Such a better introduction than Pulse Demon or any other non-stop searing onslaught that gets recommended because of its extremity and novelty rather than its quality.


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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:10 am

Ambient creates space, noise fills it.* I don't do well with space.

*For me.
Last edited by thelowerrhythm on Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by carbonhazard » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:18 am

thelowerrhythm wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:10 am
Ambient creates space, noise fills it. I don't do well with space.
I've heard this before and I disagree. There's plenty of noise that creates a space, while still being too aggressive and mutable to be considered ambient.

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thelowerrhythm
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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by thelowerrhythm » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:05 am

carbonhazard wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:18 am
thelowerrhythm wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:10 am
Ambient creates space, noise fills it. I don't do well with space.
I've heard this before and I disagree. There's plenty of noise that creates a space, while still being too aggressive and mutable to be considered ambient.
You are 100% right. Somehow it lobbed off the vast majority of my post. What did get posted is just a generalization about my personal experience with noise, which is definitely all about the distraction; something I find really helpful with anxiety. However, like you're saying, as a composer I've tried to create the space-filling aspects a number of times that have failed and instead created something meditative. I'm very curious about the line that's drawn there, as I find one side of it very therapeutic, and the other not so much.

"too aggressive and mutable to be considered ambient" is a great description.

Below is the result of a piece of software I designed to try and fulfill my noise wishes, but wound up creating semi-generative, looping, rhythmic textures that got far closer to drone (in some ways, anyway) than what I was after. Ironically this led me to an interest in drone.

"Ah yeah, you’ve got that strange blend of apathy and self-flagellation that somehow gets you where you want to go."

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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by KSS » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:54 am

Awesome thread! Thanks to everyone who's shared!

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Re: What is it about the musical genre "noise" that you find appealing?

Post by gelabs » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:15 pm

Code: Select all

aplay -c 2 -f S16_LE -r 48000 /var/log/*.log
:p
The planet was, I realized, one of the spots before my eyes.
sc - bc - yt - mg

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