Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shit Music For Shit People

Apophallation + Nxfxtxex - True Stereo Split
Shit Music For Shit People. SMfSP 30. CDR. 5 copies.

Gravhund - Caffeine Overkill
Shit Music For Shit People. SMfSP 37. 3” CDR. 20 Copies

Zebra Mu - Broken Creative Manifesto
Shit Music For Shit People. SMfSP 35. 3” CDR. 20 Copies

It would appear that every time I get a noise release to review these days I find myself pondering questions that lie beyond the more immediate ‘is this a good noise release?’ This basic question is down to personal taste anyway of course, what worries me now is that I’m asking myself a much deeper question; ‘what has noise got left to offer me?’

There was a time when any noise release that came this way was greeted with open arms and given hours of unadulterated indulgence. Anyone who comes across noise for the first time will know this feeling. And then complacency sets in.

Unless you are one of those people whose taste in music never deviates from the stuff listened to as a teenager [these people are usually the ones seen buying their music along with the weekly shopping] you are probably of an inquisitive nature and constantly on the lookout for that something new and a bit special, something original, from someone who’s twisted this and torn that out of that and mixed it with the other and there’s that German with the unpronounceable name whose teamed up with the Argentinean cymbalist who’s put out this amazing double album that’s like Sun Ra collaborating with Macronympha and its on SPUNK records out of Albania and for once theres someone actually doing something that makes me want to buy it. Unfortunately for me that feeling comes rarely these days.

Which makes me wonder whether noise has lots its sparkle or whether its me whose lost mine? Maybe thats why I spend so much of my time rooting about in the past either familiarising myself with what has gone before or wondering whether I should investigate the Klezmer section on Amazon.

Noise will be around forever of course. Once a musical genre becomes established its there for good so you might as well get used to it. Its here where you take your noise release, review it and tell it like it is because although a noise release may no longer be the earthshaking event it once was its still a noise release and maybe, just maybe, it contains something earth shattering.

Alas there were no moments of earth shattering epiphany here. Shit Music For Shit People is a label name that says it all. They’re not here to stretch peoples imagination or fill their lives with thought provoking and genre bending releases, they’re here to have a good time and who can deny them that?

Gravhund wallow in their incompetence and admit as much on the sleeve. Twelve tracks in 23 minutes worth of sped up and slowed down Loony Tune cartoons, with coughing fits, barking dogs, pedal abuse, keyboard prod, vocals fed through make-you-sound-dumb- effects and of course flat out noise. Not a billion miles away from Evil Moisture in delivery and for that alone worthy of attention.

Perhaps the best effort here is the one truly all out noise affair. Zebra Mu is Michael Ridge who uses contact mics, metal and various pedals to produce noise of a bludgeoning nature so beloved of your 90’s Jap noister.

One of the the things I still like about noise is the practice of labels releasing things in ridiculously limited editions. The Apophallation/Nxfxtxex release mentioned here exists in just five copies. Never mind that its the weakest release of the three, there's just five people in the entire world [thats five people out of almost seven billion souls], who besides me, the label owner, the two people involved and just one other lucky person has a copy of ‘True Stereo Split’. The truth of the matter may be that one of those five souls may listen to this six minutes of split channel noise parp no more than once before chucking it in a box never to see the light of day again but don’t let that put you off tracking this down on Discogs and eBay in a futile attempts to complete your Shit Music For Shit People collection. Which is another thing I like about noise; dumb noise label names; Smell The Stench, Alcoholic Narcolepsy, Total Vermin, Harbinger Sound. And the format? Noise labels are at the forefront of keeping dead formats alive in a number of colourful ways; cassettes filled with dirt, cassettes attached to oversized sponges, records filled with locked grooves and here, a small circle of digital information at the center of five inches [or if you prefer 12cms] of clear round plastic. If nothing else you could show this to your friends and explain to them what it actually is. So you see, noise hasn’t given up the ghost yet.

I think that my biggest failing in this dip of interest in noise of mine is in trying to read more into it than what there is. There’s enough room in noise for the chin strokers and the good time boys and the amateurs and the hippies and drunks and the sad bloke tapping keys trying to think up things to say about it all. It is what it is and its here and there's no getting away from the fact.


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