SGR 1806-20 new album for Soup (series: Listen Here! Part 18)

3 tracks of noise to download.
by Dave Skipper

New album available now!

SGR 1806-20

  1. DENSITY MATRIX (2018/02) 6:59
  2. MONOLITHIC (2019/11) 19:06
  3. FRICTION BURN (2020/01) 20:04

Total: 46:09

Written and Produced by Dave Skipper
Mastered by Nobuki Nishiyama
Painting: Ezra Skipper
Design & Layout: Yukou Suzuki

Please check it out here (background to this release and album notes follow below):

Background to this release

Over recent months I have been trawling painstakingly through my archive of approximately 150 live recordings, editing all the usable snippets and sections for potential releases. I have undergone a steep learning curve over the years – most of these recordings are no good to listen to ever again! But there are a few nice bits hidden away. The first batch of these selected tracks is released today (2020/04/30), on the new bandcamp page of the awesome independent Tokyo live venue Soup. (I also have an EP and a couple of other albums in the pipeline from these archives.)

I was introduced to Soup in November 2010 just two months after arriving in Japan. It was my entrance into the world of underground music in Tokyo, and my portal into so much great and weird experimental music – especially noise and harsh noise. I will write up the full story another time, but it was thanks to the irreplaceable Kelly Churko (R.I.P.) that I took the plunge with starting to organise my first noise shows at Soup.

Soup is definitely my favourite place to go to for noise, an opinion shared by many noise artists here. The space is very simple and unassuming, totally independent and DIY run, with a great vibe and the best sound system… and the best sound engineer! Nobuki Nishiyama is the magic on the PA at noise shows at Soup, and his encouragement and support and hard work are always amazing. So who better to do the mastering on these tracks?

During these COVID-19 days of no live music, Soup is getting some support now through their new bandcamp page. Please check out the ongoing releases there, download my album and any other artists’ tracks (lots of good friends involved), and make a donation to help this one-of-a-kind gem of a live space to weather the storm.

Album notes

SGR 1806-20 is the name of a magnetar (a type of neutron star with a very powerful magnetic field) found in the constellation of Sagittarius. I run a series of events at Soup called Heavier Than Jupiter, so I wanted to name this album after an extreme space object that is far, far heavier and denser than Jupiter. In addition, this particular star has been observed to undergo a massive explosion (called a starquake) which just seems very fitting for a loud noise album.

Density Matrix is an intense, rumbling, moving wall of harsh noise, rupturing through gentler bookends. The pricks and knobbles of noise frequencies sound like a finely tuned living matrix, and the total swirling mass is the extreme density of the neutron star. This track was extracted from a live streaming set on the modular performance platform PowWow/Powcademy. Thanks to: Mark Berman, Hataken, Roberto/Ipnoteca, Mi7 Japan.

Monolithic is the last set I played at Soup just a few months back. It was my 30th time to play at Soup. The set is only slightly edited. During some chunks I stood back (I even lay down on the floor for one section!) to let the sounds breathe on their own with no tinkering. This was quite unusual for me as I am always a bit of a knob-twiddler when I’m performing. But this time I needed to let the power of the noise do its thing. This was a conscious nod to Kelly Churko who first encouraged this approach to me. Thanks to: Ochiai Soup, Nishiyama-san, Kenny, Leecher, P.O.V.

Friction Burn was a live set from a mini-tour of Kyushu with ASTRO and Leecher. I like the way the piece slowly builds and morphs from ambient drone through to relentless noise and back out the other side. If you can sit back, headphones on, eyes closed, for 20 minutes it’s a rewarding journey. The image I had in mind was approaching a celestial object and then rushing through its atmosphere, almost burning up on entry but surviving through to behold beautiful unseen vistas. Thanks to: P.O.V., Sea becomes black, Uranos, ASTRO, Leecher, Omuta Fuji, Oita AtHall, Fukuoka Gigi.


I commissioned my 8-year-old son Ezra to paint his impression of an exploding star for the album artwork. I love the results:

And here it is as finalised for the release (layout/design by Soup’s Yukou Suzuki):

Relaxing during the Monolithic set at Soup:

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5 Responses to SGR 1806-20 new album for Soup (series: Listen Here! Part 18)

  1. Dorinda Miller says:

    Ezra’s art work is Brilliant! Genius idea to involve him in your project 🙂 Praying for you all Dorinda xx


    Liked by 1 person

  2. zengomi says:

    Fine effort all around.

    Liked by 1 person

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