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Japanese noise pedals
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Synth Noise  
Author Japanese noise pedals
Nelson Baboon
I've been revisiting my interest in pedals.....

I had remembered from a couple of years ago that I really liked a pedal (don't remember the name) by a Japanese company called M.A.S.F . There is also a company called Lastgasp Art Laboratories that makes some great stuff (cyber psychic being one of the most notable).

Back then, you could only order the M.A.S.F stuff from Japan, and I found a dealer there who was pretty good. But now you can get them through a US dealer called Prymaxe Vintage.

In any case - I'm wondering (I think there are a few people on this board who live in Japan, and maybe someone else knows) if there are some other extreme pedals from there that one can get. I just picked up a few, and I have to say - while I think that the word 'sick' is overused and it annoys me, I can't think of any other adjective to describe these M.A.S.F pedals.
Muff Wiggler
The lastgasp stuff has always interested me but I've never given them a try. Been close to pulling the trigger on the OscilloFuzz '88 thingy so many times but it's expensive and I suspect it's not actually what I want and I'm responding to the looks.

On the other hand I would do just about anything for the chance to snag a Sakura Boost. Been on my top-wanted list for ages. Anyone have one?
Nelson Baboon
Muff Wiggler wrote:
The lastgasp stuff has always interested me but I've never given them a try. Been close to pulling the trigger on the OscilloFuzz '88 thingy so many times but it's expensive and I suspect it's not actually what I want and I'm responding to the looks.

On the other hand I would do just about anything for the chance to snag a Sakura Boost. Been on my top-wanted list for ages. Anyone have one?


I'm not finding anything on that.

My recollection of the oscillofuzz (which I really liked but I just haven't been able to get yet this time around) is that it had a hard sound. Really liked it. Not your warm guitar fuzz thing at all. The m.a.s.f sound is warmer (and I realize that I'm using very subjective terminology, but I don't have an objective vocabulary to describe it) somehow, but there is simply no pretense at all of coherence. that's sometimes good, and sometimes bad - but I think that these have attitude, and will at times be very, very useful.

Another subject entirely, but too lazy to open another thread - but what is it about Japanese culture that has opened them up so much to the sounds of noise? I am very unstudied when it comes to the history of this stuff, but there just seems to be a wealth of stuff from there. More per capita, say, than from New Jersey.
andrewF
you might like these from Motohiko Takeda
at $20 for the full kit, you can't really go wrong

chiptrick - playable noise
http://beatnic.jp/kits/chiptrick/index-e.html


Also although he calls it a percussion synth, it has an input for synth signals
http://beatnic.jp/kits/gm/index-e.html

Nelson Baboon
andrewF wrote:
you might like these from Motohiko Takeda
at $20 for the full kit, you can't really go wrong

chiptrick - playable noise
http://beatnic.jp/kits/chiptrick/index-e.html


Also although he calls it a percussion synth, it has an input for synth signals
http://beatnic.jp/kits/gm/index-e.html



Well, I'm not a diy guy....but the first one doesn't sound particularly good to me. The second, I suppose might be sometimes useful if available pre-assembled and cheap - but I'm mostly looking for fx pedals here. I do appreciate the input though - I hadn't heard of these.
Muff Wiggler
Nelson Baboon wrote:
what is it about Japanese culture that has opened them up so much to the sounds of noise? I am very unstudied when it comes to the history of this stuff, but there just seems to be a wealth of stuff from there. More per capita, say, than from New Jersey.


good question.... i have no idea but if i had to throw out a guess based on having spent some time there...

there's a feeling amongst some people in Japan that they live in a post-apocalypic world in some ways. They did have two nuclear bombs dropped on them. It's always been a difficult place to live for envonmental reasons and they have suffered a long string of disasters, natural and otherwise throughout history.

perhaps for these reasons, and perhaps for others, but additionally there is a great appreciaton for finding beauty in temporary or fleeting things that informs much of Japan's many artistic traditions and perhaps an element of the Japanese psyche itself.

i would speculate that noise music is related to both of these concepts, perhaps the harshness of it relates well to the harsh reality of tiny rocky islands that are difficult to live on, perhaps to the harsh modernism of a post-nuclear world. I would also argue that noise music itself is a temporary or fleeting type of music. The way you feel when hearing 'new noise' is not the same way you feel on a repeated listen to it from a compact disc or cassette.

but really i'm spewing bullshit and don't know enough about any of this stuff to even guess with any sense of authority. it's just some guesses.
Nelson Baboon
An interesting post, and I won't be able to do justice to it. I cut out drinking this week (just because it was hurting my productivity) but I have 5 days off and just drank a 24 ounce Three Philosophers, a very nice virtual analog.

And I want to get back to my noise here - with 5 new pedals to figure out...

I always rebel against explanations like the one you gave - about a national 'psyche' etc. I mean fuck - I'm not sure exactly what that means exactly. But then, contradicting that, is that there must be some kind of explanation along those lines which explains why some cultures seem to excel at certain things, etc. Of course, it may simply be racial superiority.

I wonder, though, about noise music per se, being related to any particular concept. I like it. I wish that I had gotten into it earlier, but it obviously (if you have listened to my 'work') is integral at this point to my understanding of music. But I don't live in that culture. That seems to be a counterexample to your statement, but is more likely evidence of my not understanding exactly what you mean. But it is an interesting subject. If we had not (political) committed one of the greatest war crimes in history by nuclear bombing their civilians, would they still be at the forefront of this kind of music. Of course, it is IMPOSSIBLE to say.

I strongly disagree with the following, and perhaps am offended by it - I can't tell anymore:
I would also argue that noise music itself is a temporary or fleeting type of music. The way you feel when hearing 'new noise' is not the same way you feel on a repeated listen to it from a compact disc or cassette. "

I don't know what this means at all. 'Temporary' in that in 100 years, people will be singing Paul McCartney drivel and noise music will be gone? I'll bet you that's wrong. And the second sentence is meaningless to me - I have no idea what you mean by it. To my mind/ears noise music is the culmination of 20th century concepts about music, and it actualizes many things about music that I had always felt and was not able to articulate.

I'll bet you $1,000 that in 10,000 years, something more akin to noise music is listened to, than Beethoven. Of course, this presupposes that the world exists, and that there is still technology.


Muff Wiggler wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:
what is it about Japanese culture that has opened them up so much to the sounds of noise? I am very unstudied when it comes to the history of this stuff, but there just seems to be a wealth of stuff from there. More per capita, say, than from New Jersey.


good question.... i have no idea but if i had to throw out a guess based on having spent some time there...

there's a feeling amongst some people in Japan that they live in a post-apocalypic world in some ways. They did have two nuclear bombs dropped on them. It's always been a difficult place to live for envonmental reasons and they have suffered a long string of disasters, natural and otherwise throughout history.

perhaps for these reasons, and perhaps for others, but additionally there is a great appreciaton for finding beauty in temporary or fleeting things that informs much of Japan's many artistic traditions and perhaps an element of the Japanese psyche itself.

i would speculate that noise music is related to both of these concepts, perhaps the harshness of it relates well to the harsh reality of tiny rocky islands that are difficult to live on, perhaps to the harsh modernism of a post-nuclear world. I would also argue that noise music itself is a temporary or fleeting type of music. The way you feel when hearing 'new noise' is not the same way you feel on a repeated listen to it from a compact disc or cassette.

but really i'm spewing bullshit and don't know enough about any of this stuff to even guess with any sense of authority. it's just some guesses.
dkcg
In 10,000 years, wouldn't everything be classical music?

I think noise is one of the few types of music which do cross any cultural and regional limitations. There is no east coast noise, there is no west coast noise, there is just noise. Possibly an seemingly chaotic reaction to any kinds of rules whatsoever since life is a fleeting moment in itself. Creation and destruction in the moment. Certainly resembles life as I know it more so than something highly structured with mathematical and sensory rules like harmony. Maybe it's just anti-harmony done at 20-20,000 bpm? Maybe the black matter of music?

I have a CyberPsychic...I love it. from mild filterish sounds to screaming at me like I just chopped its nuts off. Great with drum machines, great with synths, and great with guitar and bass. The TRes kinda reminds me of it somewhat, but a different approach.
Nelson Baboon
hmmm - I don't think that in 10,000 years everything would be classical music. I'm very far from a musical historian, but I think that classical music has a very different meaning. I mean, we don't consider traditional folk music to be classical music. I'm not sure what you're getting at.

I'm not sure that one can consider 'noise music' a reaction. I make noise music, and I'm simpy creating sounds that I like. I'm not sure how that is more of a reaction than creating pop music. Music does not intrinsically have meaning. It is always tempting to get into this kind of an explanation, but I just don't buy buy it on any level.And life was just as fleeting a few hundred years ago, but there was no music then.

dkcg wrote:
In 10,000 years, wouldn't everything be classical music?

I think noise is one of the few types of music which do cross any cultural and regional limitations. There is no east coast noise, there is no west coast noise, there is just noise. Possibly an seemingly chaotic reaction to any kinds of rules whatsoever since life is a fleeting moment in itself. Creation and destruction in the moment. Certainly resembles life as I know it more so than something highly structured with mathematical and sensory rules like harmony. Maybe it's just anti-harmony done at 20-20,000 bpm? Maybe the black matter of music?

I have a CyberPsychic...I love it. from mild filterish sounds to screaming at me like I just chopped its nuts off. Great with drum machines, great with synths, and great with guitar and bass. The TRes kinda reminds me of it somewhat, but a different approach.
dkcg
9000 yr old chinese flutes.

Noise and most of modern life is in my opinion, a result of the industrial age. Before factories and machines, not a whole lot of ways to make noise outside of using wood and metal to make an acoustic instrument. It's no different than the visual arts.

Of course it's a reaction, you don't like traditional music...you make noise music. You're so involved in the reaction process you can't see it easily. Say you find a sound you like, you record 5 minutes of it, how is that any different than if someone else had somehow found the same exact sound using the same exact means, but decided to take that same exact 5 minute sample and arrange the sounds in a mathematical, logical way, perhaps a chromatic scale, is it now no longer noise? Noise is much more in the moment, which is why timbre is probably the most important element of it, the rest is about the words, the notes, the melody, etc. Which after you listen to a song a few times, you more or less know what's coming every time you listen after that. Noise challenges your brain to look for patterns if you get drawn in, which is the part that most never get past.

Anyhow, what is your definition of noise in the musical sense of the word?

It's all just balance between chaos and order anyways.
pas
thanks for the heads up on the masf pedals nelson, never heard of them. i really like the 'possessed' pedal, kinda wish i had one like ten years ago.
Nelson Baboon
"of course". That's quite simplistic. There wasn't the option, in various contexts, to make such timbral based music hundreds of years ago. musical cultural, instrumental, etc. It's much easier to do with electronic instruments I think that's obvious. This gives us the opportunity to simply explore sound, which wasn't really available like this years ago.

I don't find myself thinking, "I don't like traditional music. I must make something different". I find myself simply making music - trying to extend my sonic capabilities to make sounds/music that i like. Creating these categories like 'reaction' are always simplistic, but most certainly, my impulse for making music isn't that fundamentally different than someone who makes country music. The main difference is that I feel NO allegiance to the rules that have been so sacred for so long. In one sense, I suppose, you could say that therefore what I do is a reaction, but in the same sense, I think that you could say that all music is a reaction, and therefore this interpretation is really not very significant.

dkcg wrote:
9000 yr old chinese flutes.

Noise and most of modern life is in my opinion, a result of the industrial age. Before factories and machines, not a whole lot of ways to make noise outside of using wood and metal to make an acoustic instrument. It's no different than the visual arts.

Of course it's a reaction, you don't like traditional music...you make noise music. You're so involved in the reaction process you can't see it easily. Say you find a sound you like, you record 5 minutes of it, how is that any different than if someone else had somehow found the same exact sound using the same exact means, but decided to take that same exact 5 minute sample and arrange the sounds in a mathematical, logical way, perhaps a chromatic scale, is it now no longer noise?


The question isn't coherent to me. Please express it in a way that I can understand.

Quote:
Noise is much more in the moment, which is why timbre is probably the most important element of it, the rest is about the words, the notes, the melody, etc. Which after you listen to a song a few times, you more or less know what's coming every time you listen after that. Noise challenges your brain to look for patterns if you get drawn in, which is the part that most never get past.

Anyhow, what is your definition of noise in the musical sense of the word?


I'm not a historian of music in any sense. Not of classical, of popular, of avant garde, of noise, etc. That is probably a bad thing more than a good thing, but I do think that most of the time when people 'define' things, they lose some of the meaning (hence create counterexamples). To me, noise music must contain certain components (and these would be open to argument) - it must be primarily timbral in nature. It must use primarily harsher timbres rather than 'pleasant' ones. But after that, whether one would consider a piece 'noise' or not - I'd have to listen and just make a judgement. And I'm not entirely sure why you're asking for a definition in the first place. I think that most people who post in this sub forum have some idea of what general befits that description.

Quote:
It's all just balance between chaos and order anyways.


Well, isn't that true by definition? I'm not sure what meaning this really has.
dkcg
lol

Same old trouble causing self trying to stir things up as usual. The pattern seems to be look for a reaction, discount that reaction, repeat.

I'm done with the games. lol
tokyocat
The noise scene in Japan is tiny. I wouldn't say it's bigger per capita than the noise scene in any other country. It's just that the way the western media portrays it makes it seem like it's a popular thing in Japan.

If you actually go to a noise show in Tokyo by a 'big name' noise act such as Merzbow, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide etc there is usually less than 100 people in the audience.
James Mandible
These look rad, might have to get one or two of them. Sadly the most interesting looking one (thornoscillator) seems to be OOP.
Nelson Baboon
James Mandible wrote:
These look rad, might have to get one or two of them. Sadly the most interesting looking one (thornoscillator) seems to be OOP.


Really? I was under the impression that it was just temporarily out of stock at the US distributor (forgetting name of store).
Cybananna
tokyocat wrote:
If you actually go to a noise show in Tokyo by a 'big name' noise act such as Merzbow, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide etc there is usually less than 100 people in the audience.


lol lol The place where I saw KK Null you'd be lucky to fit 50 people crammed in like sardines! I was surprised at how few people were there (the place was pretty full but it was just a tiny places compared to a US bar).
bartlebooth
Cybananna wrote:
tokyocat wrote:
If you actually go to a noise show in Tokyo by a 'big name' noise act such as Merzbow, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide etc there is usually less than 100 people in the audience.


lol lol The place where I saw KK Null you'd be lucky to fit 50 people crammed in like sardines! I was surprised at how few people were there (the place was pretty full but it was just a tiny places compared to a US bar).


you wouldn't happen to remember the name of the place would you (re: this thread https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49081) ?
Cybananna
bartlebooth wrote:
Cybananna wrote:
tokyocat wrote:
If you actually go to a noise show in Tokyo by a 'big name' noise act such as Merzbow, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide etc there is usually less than 100 people in the audience.


lol lol The place where I saw KK Null you'd be lucky to fit 50 people crammed in like sardines! I was surprised at how few people were there (the place was pretty full but it was just a tiny places compared to a US bar).


you wouldn't happen to remember the name of the place would you (re: this thread https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=49081) ?


I'll answer in that thread. Don't want to OT this thread to death...
James Mandible
sorry double post
James Mandible
Nelson Baboon wrote:
James Mandible wrote:
These look rad, might have to get one or two of them. Sadly the most interesting looking one (thornoscillator) seems to be OOP.


Really? I was under the impression that it was just temporarily out of stock at the US distributor (forgetting name of store).


You might be right, that was just the impression I got. If it's one distributor for the entire US it would make sense why the couple of different stores that carry their stuff wouldn't have any.
flament
Hi.
Anyone know the difference between the M.A.S.F. Thornoscillator TO-1 (grey case with a switch between the 4 knobs) and the regular model (with painted case and without the switch) ?
mmelnick
flament wrote:
Hi.
Anyone know the difference between the M.A.S.F. Thornoscillator TO-1 (grey case with a switch between the 4 knobs) and the regular model (with painted case and without the switch) ?


I don't know but those dudes are on the MASF Facebook page and on the Endon band page - they'll probably reply quick, I think they're back from tour now
I think pedalgeek sells MASF from time to time, that guy might know
JimY
www.parasitstudio.se
...have some CMOS based designs. "Into the Unknown" guitar synth can have a mind of it's own and the "Arcadiator" is fun.
If you can DIY they can be cheap. Bare PCB's are very good quality.
flament
mmelnick wrote:
flament wrote:
Hi.
Anyone know the difference between the M.A.S.F. Thornoscillator TO-1 (grey case with a switch between the 4 knobs) and the regular model (with painted case and without the switch) ?


I don't know but those dudes are on the MASF Facebook page and on the Endon band page - they'll probably reply quick, I think they're back from tour now


Thank you but I tried to reach them twice without success so far.
The switch has 3 positions and mainly changes the loudness of the signal but also the overall color of the fuzz. Overall, from what I remember from the regular version I tried some month ago, the TO-1 model sounds different, more controllable, less harsh and fuzzy. Anyone can confirm this ?
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