Noise In Opposition Volume 2
Although far from perfect, I was pretty impressed overall by the first installment of Noise in Opposition.
There was a lot going on, a lot of energy and character, and surprisingly little actual noise. While not everything was wonderful there was clearly a lot of passion and feeling on show. Coming in at 31 tracks it was, however, a little unwieldy and there were certainly some pieces that shouldn’t have been included. The danger with huge compilations is that individual tracks simply get lost and I suspect that a lot of them don’t even get listened to. Volume 2 on the other hand is a much more manageable affair with a slim-line track list of 16. The left-wing/anti-fascist philosophy is the same, as is the not-for-profit price structuring. Downloads are again free, with the DVD + insert costing just £4.50 (UK).
Volume 2 represents another eclectic mix of styles, taking in Sunn O))) style drone, found sound, experimental cello, field recordings, spoken word and, of course, a touch of actual noise, amongst other things. But on balance this is mostly an experimental ambient release.
Highlights include the creepy Stochastic machine by Zreen Toyz – which would be well suited as a soundtrack to some experimental Czech animation – and the frankly beautiful (but too short!) classical drone Floodwaters by April Larson. Djinnestan makes me think of Nurse With Wound’s more ambient work and, at over nine minutes, gives you time to really delve into the track, while Laica channels Lustmord and does it very well. In fact Hali’s textured contribution, It never stops, sits in a similar vein. This is a rich track, melding gothic ambiences with some judicious noise, restrained vocals and drone-like organs.
I like reggae and dub but it really does all sound the fucking same. So when someone comes along and does something actually interesting with the tropes I really appreciate it. Hype Williams’ Shangaan Electro version was a good example. And here we have another treat: GRMMSK’s Crazy [boneheads]. This is messed up shit for the after party’s after party: brilliantly trippy stuff where everything is melting.
Elizabeth Veldon turned in a distinctly underwhelming and pointless track for the original Noise in Opposition compilation but this time around it’s a lot more promising: with Fuck you mister she’s on a rhythmic noise tip, reminding me of Shelley Parker or even bits of Pan Sonic, with plenty of snares and rhythmic variation.
I’m beginning to think that this release’s ‘Noise’ title is a bit of a misnomer and does the compilation a disservice. It is so much more than ‘noise’: textured, nuanced; it is sometimes subtle, frequently beautiful and at other times bludgeoning. I like its variety and I like this mature release. It builds stylistically on the original compilation and, with its lower track-count, greater coherence and increased emphasis on more ambient sounds, is arguably even better. It’s free, so grab it now!
Noise In Opposition Volume 2
Elizabeth Veldon – Fuck You Mister
The Ephemeral Man – Monarch
Zreen Toyz – Stochastic Machine
Quartersized – Concrete #1
Totstellen – Non-Static-Fragmentation (Remastered Rmx)
Dsic – Thought Entombed
Stapperton – Mouldy Not Stale
Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt – Gezi Park (Public Displays Of Affection)
Hali – It Never Stops
Lost Trail – Charred Tree In A Field
Hoofus – Bright Morning Blanked Our Eyes
April Larson – Floodwaters
Laica – The Words Get Stuck In Your Throat
Gusset – Everything Dies
Djinnestan – Raminagobris
GRMMSK – Crazy [Boneheads]