The Needle Drop

noise

It Came from Bandcamp: March 2016

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Welcome back to It Came from Bandcamp, the (not-so-)monthly horror show that finds us plumbing the depths and exploring the deep, dark recesses of the Bandcamp platform. After a bit of a hiatus, we're back to doing just that. It really doesn't feel as though three months have passed since the last one of these, probably because the trauma caused by the 30 or so releases I previously covered has been with me the entire time.

At any rate, we still want this to be a regular segment; Anthony has even expressed interest in making a video series based on it. If you'd enjoy something like that, let us know. But first, let's dive back into the cesspool:


[EDIT 3/25] Anthony's ICFB video segment is a go; here's the first episode:


We found this right after posting the holiday special. It could've been saved for this December, but I can't think of many things shittier than listening to a Xmas-themed black metal EP in mid-March.


Team Egg or Team Melon — you must take a side. Choose wisely, lest you end up on the wrong side of history along with all the other fuckheads who call Anthony an egg when he's clearly a melon.


You know how "Ultralight Beam" is such an incredible opener that you get stuck on it and can't move on to the rest of TLOP? I'm having a similar experience here with "Flavortown."


Not gonna lie: I found this one by searching for releases tagged with "AIDS." There was a time when the Internet helped me seek out good music, but this is my life now.


Please don't stop, DUMP. Shitcore will be less shitty without you.


 

Mr. Marx debunked dance YEARS AGO!!!! (Stale meme aside, this sounds like lobotomy-by-synth.)


Here's the hidden gem of this month's article. Fans of field recordings and noise might very well dig the mess of sounds r.nuuja captures in the pachinko parlor. Others might seriously suffer sensory overload and will hereon out have to excuse themselves from the room when Plinko comes on The Price Is Right.


The soundtrack for all your clown-themed nightmares to come.


This must be what Death Grips sounds like to people who don't like Death Grips.


Wow. That was just as magical of a trip as I remembered.  Thanks for joining me on this journey again. You deserve a quick apology for the obligatory Death Grips reference there at the last minute — my pay is docked if I don't meet quota. But come to think of it, isn't there something else on Bandcamp that's been making the rounds this past week?

Merzbow Starter Pack

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We've been in a pretty noisy mood lately. Last week we brought you a sprawling noise rock playlist and now you're getting a 2.5-hour-long set of tracks from the master of harsh noise, Masami Akita (b.k.a. Merzbow). In a sense he is the perfect subject for one of these starter packs, as his career spans nearly 300 studio albums over the course of four decades and features a wider array of textures and recording techniques than just about any other harsh noise musician's. However, some of his great works (for instance Rainbow Electronics) are comprised of one very long track, thereby not lending themselves to playlist listening. And many interesting releases, like much of his 80's sound collage output and his masterpiece 1930, aren't on Spotify. Nor are his collaborations with Boris (with the exception of the too-long Sun Baked Snow Cave), which is a potential disappointment for those looking forward to next year's double-album Gensho.

With all that being said, hopefully you will find this set to be as varied and comprehensive as possible. We understand that harsh noise isn't the easiest genre to get into and we can't really help you "get it" if it's not your thing, but if you're looking for some insight into how this type of music can be enjoyable, check out Anthony's talk with Mike Rugnetta about noise, among other styles of experimental music. Whatever y'all get out of it, enjoy!

Further listening - the lighter side of Merzbow:

20 Years of Tzadik (Favorite Releases)

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Compiled & Written by Austen R.

Up there's the mission statement of Tzadik Records, the label founded by saxophonist, composer, and Downtown musician extraordinaire John Zorn. 2015 marks its 20th anniversary, so we thought it'd be fitting and fun to round up our favorite releases up til now.

The feature has been left up to me, TND's resident Tzadik nerd,  and what follows are the label's 20 albums I find most astounding. I've written very brief blurbs for each entry because the uninitiated should have some idea of what they're getting into, but seeing as Tzadik, to a greater extent than other imprints, embraces mystery in music, it only seems right to leave most things unsaid.

Now let's get into it (in random order):

Kayo Dot — Choirs of the Eye (2003, TZ7092)

Kicking things off with an avant-garde metal masterpiece, the debut album from Kayo Dot. I'd be remiss if I weren't to mention that frontman Toby Driver's 2005 Tzadik release In the L..L..Library Loft is also phenomenal in its own right.

Derek Bailey — Carpal Tunnel (2005, TZ7612)

Derek Bailey, arguably the cleverest guitarist of the 20th century, makes his last stand against motor neurone disease on this album. Harrowing stuff, but Bailey's resoluteness in the face of inexorable decay is ultimately uplifting.

Luc Ferrari — Cellule 75 (1998, TZ7033)

For his cheeky approach to classical composition and tape music, Luc Ferrari has always been my 20th century composer of choice. The title track here, a half-hour-long piece for piano, percussion, and field recordings, is among my favorites of his (I couldn't find a clip from Tzadik's issue anywhere, so I've linked to another version of it above).

Ni Hao! — Gorgeous (2005, TZ7259)

We don't believe in guilty pleasures at TND, but if one exists in the Tzadik catalog, it's this debut full-length from Kyoto J-pop/"cheer punk" trio Ni Hao! Come on, though – it's a blast!

Merzbow — 1930 (1998, TZ7214)

Merzbow's 1930 is a perfect point of entry into the world of harsh noise and, to my ears, contains the most profound sounds and arrangements the genre has to offer.