Sunday, February 21, 2010

Noise Be Free!

This will only be partially about noise, because actual noise music is not my forte. But we're going to start with the noisiest, most horrendous part of the equation, then ease up quite a bit. Anyway, it's all free from record labels past and future...

While looking around for various stuff, I stumbled across The Freenoise Archives, which houses the monuments of a bygone culture's glory days. Actually, a lot of it's somewhat recent, mostly "releases from the more-or-less defunct labels E.F. Tapes and SunShip Records." And noise artists are still going strong.

Ape Songs of North America
From Houston, Rotten Piece's The Short Songs (2004) is the only thing I recognized here. I think they have this in stock on cd or vinyl at Sound Exchange. Shaun Kelley's currently doing time in The Exterminating Angels (#17 of then 2009 "Metal" Next 10). But Rotten Piece still exists to noise you up - CD Release party on February 27th at Super Happy Fun Land!

"Go Back" from Exile on 23rd St. (2010)

There's a lot of Cock E.S.P. and Wrong - if you find either of those to your liking. Cock E.S.P. has available a few splits or collaborations with some heavy hitters: Merzbow, Harry Pussy, OvO, the Nihilist Spasm Band (since 1965!). So those might be the way to start off your abrasive noise collection.

But personally, I'm going to begin with the compilations. First off, No Tribute (2002), which is actually a tribute compilation to Nihilist Spasm. Then I'll check some others later on... maybe.

Cadmium Dunkel
Next we have prolific micro-label Gold Soundz' free .mp3 albums (~96 available) and singles (~106). Much more likely for me to explore than the Free Noise. There's a single set (#18) from Karlheinz Stockhausen (musique concrète pioneer) and an album (#1) by Conrad Schnitzer (founding Tangerine Dream and Cluster). Which should give you an idea of the sonic topography we're navigating.

"Electric Garden" by Conrad Schnitzler, from CON (1978)

My suggestion with digging into unknown territory is to use the info available: the appeal of artist name, song/album titles, and amount of material available. The last is just in case you find something good, there's more waiting. (Album art would also be a factor, but it's not diplayed here.) So that's how I picked out Cadmium Dunkel's "Trenody for the victims of religion, part 1" (single #81) - liked it! I think I recognize some of the other names here: Aidan Baker, Christian di Vito, Carl Kruger, Mil.Org, Mono-Drone, and 400 Lonely Things. But people's European names and variations on "drone" or "sound" are tough to distinguish. If the Origami collective's stuff turns up good, that would be quite a stash!

You can click to stream tracks, or right-click Save As... to download for permanent.

Black Rabbit
And finally, a very new internet-only label of drone: Drowning, with three releases so far. All free for the downloading! I'm starting with Black Rabbit, a 33-minute dark ambient voyage of feedback and restless spirits from Denmark's Wäldchengarten (translate: "grove garden?").

Found via free-internet drone compilators Droning Earth. Thanks!!

Black Noodles
Not free, but a timely post-V-Day .mp3-d/l noise compilation Black Noodles. Featuring Robedoor, Merzbow, Harry Pussy, Yellow Swans, Hair Police, Fuck Buttons, The Dead C, and seven others...
In the wake of Valentines day we've been reading about the South Korean tradition where all those poor souls who have failed to receive a Valentines day gift are expected to eat black noodles and mourn their loneliness. This seemed a little harsh to us so we've put together 14 tracks of erogenous noise to distract all the moping misanthropes and misogynists from their woes. The noise spectrum covers a great deal of musical ground, from thunderous rock freakouts to highly organised digital extremity, always skulking at the threshold of nearly each and every scene, waiting to be embraced by those who need to feed off its cathartic qualities.

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