Monday, February 2, 2009

tear it apart like starving wolves

Earle Brown - Folio and Four Systems (lala) The music here, mostly with generic names and dates for titles, is an example of systems music that works - engaging without having to know the specific system behind it, not fitting any of your built-in systems. I can see this as being easily described as formless racket, and for all I know, it might actually be. This racket is the kind of stuff that takes shape in the mind as thoughts instead of pictures, bypassing the tropes of metaphor so it can jack into the electricity that projects reality up onto the screen for you. I'm in a trance from "March 1953"

If you are into such things, check out the list of performers, including Japanese noise terrorist Merzbow, electronics composer Morton Subotnik and the composer himself. And check out the instructions they used to generate the music.

Merzbow - Eucalypse (lala) Merzbow is one of those guys who usually stands on the other side of the line for good racket vs. bad racket for me. The guy is peerlessly prolific but, in my ears, has low quality control. Where the screeches and crashes in the above piece I find evocative, Merzbow's ideas come off as half-baked stunt music, even though I think it is anything but. I suspect Merzbow and the packaging of Merzbow is a highly calculated enterprise, one that works ion that I am talking about it. When I saw Boris play recently, I spied a limited-edition vinyl 3xLP collaboration between the two at the merch table, and I'd be lying if I wasn't tempted to throw down $100+ , even though I knew it would probably be well either unlistenable or just boring. I tried to convince a noise-leaning-er friend to do so but he also wisely balked.
[Ed: lest it seem I am giving this album a total pan, I rather dig the lava floe jamz of Part 5

The Gerogerigegege - The raucous punk/noise bands like Japan's the Gerogerigege are more to my liking. Instead of Merzbow's power-sander endlessly eroding humanity to a nub, the Gerogerigegege (who's name possibly translates to "vomit diarrhea ha ha ha") quickly tear it apart like starving wolves. As in all art, it comes down to taste, and If I have to pick a way to go out, I prefer the latter. Here are 19 blows to the soul compressed into 5:39

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