My second noise album, released December 2011.
by Dave Skipper
Taking it out on the road!
In 2011 I started to perform occasionally at some noise gigs here in Tokyo using my modular synth setup. The ‘genre’ of noise music and the noise scene itself was all quite new to me, but I knew that here was a freedom and an energy that I loved and wanted to be part of. One of the appeals was the ‘anything goes’ mentality that I experienced. Noise artists didn’t hold anything back with their exploration and exclamation of extreme sound. But it took me several years of gigging before I could really relax and enjoy playing live myself. There were a number of reasons for this: finding my sound, my new musical voice; refining and familiarising my approach to and use of my gear; slowly learning to think about timings and form before and during a live set; getting over a lot of my worry about what people would think of my set; and so on.
About Volume 2
Nevertheless, some of those early performances captured a special something of those formative experiences. Several sections found their way onto my second compilation of noise tracks, Iron Curtain Noise Volume 2. On a couple of these tracks I even played a bit of electric guitar live over the modular sounds. (Strangely those guitar parts were rather gentle and melodic as opposed to the more angular and wild psychedelic metal shredding that I favour playing!) Over the years since I have pushed more and more into harsher noise territory, favouring abrasive textures over ambient noise, but on this collection a lot of the noise explores more atmospheric textures and slower-paced journeys. So if you want to experience a more soothing side of noise music you might appreciate some of these tracks!
Gearwise, my setup was largely the same as for Volume 1 (see my article about that here), the chief difference being the addition of the Livewire Frequensteiner filter. I remember this filter being particularly responsible for shaping the sound of the track Amniotic Cognition, which was extracted from a live gig.
Beneath and beyond
A quick glance at the track titles for both these Iron Curtain Noise compilations, as well as the names of subsequent tracks I have made, reveal a common theme. I have always been fascinated by space. I love to imagine travelling through space and visiting all the weird and wonderful places in our solar system and on into deepest and farthest corners of the cosmos. Analogue synth sounds can easily digress into those kinds of sci-fi, trippy, spacey vibes that evoke intergalactic exploration and discovery. As I listened to each of the tracks on both Volumes 1 & 2 I would think about what astronomical object or process, or other physicsy phemomenon, might be hinted at in the sounds.
I had intended to put together an Iron Curtain Noise Volume 3 (make a trilogy boxset and all that), but then my system morphed into a different direction so it never happened.
I don’t have more to say other than (as usual) PLEASE listen on headphones or decent speakers!