[sic] Magazine

Noise From The Blackstuff (The Ultimate Underground Scene?)

Last year I started to get MySpace friends requests from some odd sounding customers (don’t ask me to remember how it started). The bands’ pages (though more commonly individuals’) were none more black and featured pictures of a grimly surgical nature. It was debatable, even, whether it was music – the participants seem happy to call their genre “Noise”. I should admit I like bands who offend. Although I have no great desire to upset in real life, I take a childish delight in swearing and shocking imagery in my R&R.

I should admit I like bands who offend. Although I have no great desire to upset in real life, I take a childish delight in swearing and shocking imagery in my R&R. Having swum in the waters of Metal for many years of the 80s I can attest that (and I realise it does me no credit) seeing Alice Cooper (left) getting his head cut off, W.A.S.P. produce a nude lady from a cabinet, slit her throat and sling raw meat at the crowd or The Mighty Thor have breeze blocks broken over his chest by a dwarf with a sledgehammer (honest – I saw it twice!) were not without entertainment value. With the advent of Death/Speed/Thrash things got nastier. Although I was never really a gig goer for this area of Metal, I can remember the impact of Reign In Blood by Slayer (the lyric sheet of which is still a very grisly document). That opened the floodgates and any time I dipped a toe in this particular pond necrophilia seemed to be the prime subject.

I have to say even for a fan of Shock Rock the murder and church burning was a bit much, and it took Napalm Death and Electro Hippies to make sense of the Noise strand in Metal again with Hardcore. Not really until Marilyn Manson did anyone go further in upsetting the grown-ups and that was more to do with his high profile. And he also brings us back to Alice Cooper (subversive name, stage act, religious background).

Now, I’ve digressed here.

Noise certainly isn’t Black Metal but as a scene it seems to share components, not least an utter disregard for mainstream trends and tastes. A propensity for tattoos, piercing and dark clothing. Practitioners could be taken, by the untrained eye, for Goths. And again the Industrial end of Goth is a sign post on the road to Noise. But Noise is not about guitars, though (as with ‘Black Mental’ by Chav Stabber ) it uses them, sampled or raw, set to “pain” for rhythmic effect. It is about the manipulation of electronic sound to alter mood (usually in a somewhat distressing way but some Noise can be gentle if not really Ambient – like the dreams of a machine).

It could probably find it’s originators in Dik Mik from Hawkwind (pictured left) (whose apparent ability to use his noise generator to make people spontaneously defecate was VERY Noise), Silver Apples (a bit) and various Electronic pioneers ( Pierre Henry comes to mind). Throbbing Gristle must surely be the Gods of Noise (along with the lesser known Whitehouse), with an amazing and uncompromised back catalogue that defies easy explanation (though much of it is more musical than you expect). The look of much Noise imagery comes from them, Crass/Flux Of Pink Indians and Anarchist fanzines (whether deliberately or not) that feature weapon diagrams, corporate reports, animal testing photos – and Industrial Alt. Rock acts like NIN and Ministry (who regularly showed surgical videos live – I seem to remember a sex change operation projected during the Psalm 69 tour) .

Indie Dad’s Own Record Label!

Chav Stabber

Endomentrium Cuntplow

Tayside Mental Health