There are few things worse than trying to review a compilation of noise music on cassette. The lack of discrete boundaries on the medium make any collection of songs hard to parse out, but the lack of beats or lyrical identifiers make a selection of 30 different tracks a hellish endeavor to describe. The rub is, there are also few things better than listening to the wall-to-wall blast that is the compilation of noise on cassette. The noise artist’s self-doubt is multiplied in the embattled spirit of competition and inevitable comparisons which the format provides. This makes for generally top choice selections from a healthy array of folks who, let’s be honest, sound best when taken at 5 minutes at a time anyhow. And so it is that I’m attempting to sell you on the latest from For Noise’s Sake called ‘Madrid es Ruido’, an unrelenting C120 featuring a wide survey of noise musicians and indentured weirdoes like a scene report from the Spanish capitol. I’m trying my damnedest to hold on to the bouncing ball, so here are just some of the winners and honorable mentions:
Just to set any expectations on their head, The Wooter start the tape off with some deeply misleading Kiwi freak ala Pumice, in effect suppressing their own noise as a means to diffuse whatever horror is about to follow. And amply so: Ponzoña chase quickly behind (otherwise most artists take advantage of their allotted share on this doubly long tape) with a bright, chewed up smattering of Maxed out noise sounding like channel-surfing nothing but heavy machinery videos and blocked networks. Similarly, Ormo sets the trend of support for the John Wiese school of total cuts and alloy sounds, overwhelming a meta-curve with so many sharp little divots. Against such volume, the lo-fi neighbors don’t stand a chance but to attempt the stunning expression of Plonk Moist’s live contribution “Escarpiados” – with a sharp, manhandled python of feedback, self-deposed guitar and drums, and pure-driven scream – the obvious highlight in a collection full of standout tracks. Daniel Del Rio makes for a smart contrast, offering a deep churn of swelling dirt in the forgotten perfection of Hive Mind, Games Addiction makes for an original clash between glitch programming and ugly noise warps, and Yo-Raid! manage a dynamic little improv workout of rolling percussion and tin guitar in line with Owl Xounds and the twee trash which opened the side.
Flipping this beast, Ahno Zwei start the second side with a high-definition jazz-noise, sounding high-flick feedback glinting off professional presentation. Gran Logia plays weird, Silver Apple-scented electronic psychedelia made outta lo-fi drumming, weird audio lecture and whispy streaks of feedback. In close proximity, Jord Levulma makes a funk noise not unlike the new sounds from K-X-P, following the Logia with murmurs and chatter suppressed under a tremendous wall of deep bass scaling. Past gabber beats and SPK noise-wave, Eloe Emoe-type drum and bass and cut-up methods which other scenes seem to have totally missed the point on, Noish come with a phaser-futurist decomposition of broken screens and whirring cues, Wiese crossed with Pulse Emitter to really fantastic results. Roughuh comes with some pretty standard, pretty incredible wall noise using the apparently quite trendy Madrilenian combo of feedback/vocals/bass, Ülpeskriva plies the other popular tweak, a psychotic assault of high BPM live percussion added to the delirious nod of constricted throats and feedback, and Ol’ Pain closes the comp out with a looping, New Blockader mind-erasure to reset the clock.
In total, the tape features contributions from: thewOOter, Ponzoña, Au, Ormo, Desatrancos, Plonk Moist, La Catástrofe Ultravioleta, Daniel del Rio, Tubular Balls, Asperorers, Games Addiction, pier, bledo, Grassa DATO, Yo-Raid!, dohince, ahno drei, fuguh, Gran Logia, Jord Levulma, Scumearth, Xedh, R.R. Soup Fuck Uzz, noish, shalocins, Roughuh, Oscar Barras, Botox Vox, Ülpeskriva, and Ol’ Pain. On pro-pressed tapes with simple, glossy j-cards. 100 copies. Very recommended.
For Noise’s Sake cassette