Monday, February 01, 2016

TNB Orchestra

TNB Orchestra - Eine Kleine Nichtsmusik
Hypnagogia. GIA08. 300 copies.

On discovering that Eine Kleine Nichtsmusik consisted of two almost forty minute tracks I had the review written before I’d even played it. My mind ran to the hideous nature of Harsh Noise Wall [so noise isn’t ‘noise’ enough for ya hey punk?’] and works of a maximalist nature that no doubt exist on 16 gigabyte flash drives and run until your head falls off or your hardware malfunctions. I mean how much noise can one person take in a single sitting? Eighty minutes all in one go? Are you insane? I’m a traditionalist in these matters though and TNB don’t make music to wash the dishes to. I want to sit and listen to your release in the nature that it was intended. I will sit and listen to this all in one go and I will bloody well suffer for it. It comes with the job.

I trawled Twitter and found Japanese noise fans complaining that Eine Kleine Nichtsmusik was over long and difficult to get through in one-er. If it was too much for the Japanese then what chance did I have? And then I remembered Paul Watson’s comment that you could probably fit every noise fan in the world into a football stadium and wouldn’t it be great if we could all be nice to each other, there’s not many of us after all, we need to stick together, one big happy family sitting side by side on piano’s making horrible noises. And yes that is a noble sentiment except that I was thinking more National League North while Watson was probably thinking Championship. But how many in that ground are getting a kick out of an eighty minute noise release? How many people, even those who claim to be rabid noise fans, are getting their kicks out an 80 minute noise release? By now we’re down to those in the dug out and the queue for the half time Bovril. The audience is getting smaller as the tracks get louder and longer.

Then I played it reminding myself that this is, after all, The New Blockaders, or to be more precise TNB Orchestra. What the difference is I have no idea, the sleeve leaves no clue,  the tracks aren’t even given titles. So the only thing left to do is play it. I’ve been putting it off for long enough and here goes and ... well, that wasn’t so bad was it? Too much for some but not for me. It was like rolling in Chanel scented moss as Raquel Welch fed me plump grapes, it was like having the best sleep of my life. It wasn’t and certainly never will be Harsh Noise Wall or whatever the fuck that is. It does creep up on you though. The first thirty minutes are some of the most inventive TNB material I’ve heard with shortwave hiss and computer chatter slathered over a low end rumble and at around the fifteen minute mark Daleks but ever so slowly the chaos takes hold until you realise you’re trapped in a vortex of spiraling, out of control noise. TNB trademark clatter and squeak can just about make itself heard and sometimes voices making ghostly sounds for this is alive with all manner flotsam. An exhilarating joy.  But thats the peak. After reaching the summit the downhill descent of track two is less interesting as gas leaks, astronaut breathing and the wind howling outside eventually develop into a flat-lining assault. At its very end it collapses in on itself revealing the dying spasms of a malfunctioning android and the muffled, struggling puff of a steam fed funicular.

TNB releases now appear to follow a familiar pattern whereby a limited run of handmade CDR’s are sold to rabid collectors which then goes to fund the larger release. I dare say that those at TNB towers have an eye on a double LP for this somewhere down the line and I for one would buy it. Not exactly the Metal Machine Music of noise but still worthy of your time. See you in the Bovril queue.

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