Friday, June 28, 2013

what i found in california i

what it is: noise
where i found it: california

While on vacation last week in the country's most idyllic and fucked up State I found many things, which I'll spend the next few days outlining. Let's start with noise.

While out near the beach I ended up spending some time with a guy named David Novak who just finished a very recommendable book on Japanese noise, appropriately titled Japanoise.  The book strikes a nice balance between scholarly theory and super descriptions (e.g. Novak failing when he attempts to sing with Hijokaiden, the Incapacitants' '07 Brooklyn appearance, Japan's high decibel basement record listening clubs). For better or worse it's gotten me onto a harsh noise kick and re-exploring the bottomless Merzbow catalog and the LA Free Music Society. If you don't know the LAFMS, you should - the group helped to midwife a lot of mostly-off-the-charts-craziness like Smegma and the difficult-to-be-reckoned with Destroy All Monsters.

Novak also wrote an article that centers around the mind bogglingly expansive ethno-document label Sublime Frequencies which you can download here. Since then he's the been subject of some provocation by the Sublimies/Sun City Girls when he's presented the paper, but provoking everyone is part of their job description (see building a campfire and reading poetry while opening for Black Flag and/or reciting pornographic excerpts about the Pope after blasting an audience with aimless improv noodling and Love covers).

Anyway, in digging around the noise centric youtube universe I came across this super clip of the Incapacitants playing on a mountain. I think that's Merzbow standing around in the background, who has done his own fair share of performing in unlikely settings. If you don't know the Incapacitants, they are a duo of Japanese 50 something salary men (one works in a bank and one is a beaureaucrat) who also happen to play some of the most searing and painful noise music there is. On a mountain.