A Beginner’s Guide to Noise Music

Source: The Hard Times.

If you agree with David Novak, the author of Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation, then you probably believe that writing a history of noise music is inherently impossible. According to Novak, noise comes from the circulation of cultural ideas and artifacts, emerging from the accumulated meaningless debris that accompanies all forms of communication. Vinyl pops and scratches, for example, become noisy if what you want to hear is the recordings on that record. Noise music, therefore, comes from artists purposefully activating that noise. And since that noise comes from an infinite number of contexts, it’s impossible to map the history of noise music, or even to document the entire contemporary noise scene. Both, by definition, are constantly and unendingly regenerating.

I happen to agree with Novak. But I’m going to try anyways.