Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    Mine glows.

    that's what you get for deriving your substance entirely through an ethernet cable.

  1.  (775.62)
    I agree with all the various points above that "extreme" music is a misnomer (wait, I said that about "post-rock", too, didn't I?). The whole notion of "extreme" art and music (before the word itself was taken up as an advertising buzzword by MTV & etc), was something that was a shocking change or attack on the norm. And that worked for much of the 20th Century, when a lot of what was called "Art" was driven by a desire to blast the old norms away (from the dadaists and on...). Now, the mainstream absorbs and excretes whatever it wants, the "shock" lasts as long as the next ad cycle. Fringe arts and musics continue to prosper, and may or may not leak into the mainstream - but they don't usually exist for shock value, but as a result of the personal eccentricities of the artists themselves. And internet distribution means anyone can distribute anything.

    As for Merzbow, I'm glad I never had to actually promote the Merzbox. I dabbled in raw noise myself for a while, but structure's where the fun is.Though the brain creates order out of noise, so it's all literally in the ear of the listener. I did hear Merzbow live once in NYC, and it was incredibly visceral - the effect no doubt of high decibels on the endocrine system or some such. But if I want loud, I prefer Glenn Branca's 25-guitar ensembles.

    I found Metal Machine Music good for bouts of intensive house cleaning... vacuuming was like playing along - "Noise minus One"

    Of course, there are varieties of "extreme" are aren't simply loud - extremely slow, extremely quiet, extremely odd, extremely bad...

    I agree that "fringe music" is more interesting, because a lot of it exists in its own continuum, and therefore has a certain timelessness that shock-value trend-chasing doesn't.
    I'd put my own music in that category, because it has next-to-nothing to do with the mainstream, and frankly some of the things I did 25-30 years ago still hold up on their own terms - terms outside the vocabulary of the mainstream.
    • CommentAuthor___________
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008 edited
    the only drawback is that 'extreme' music needs to be played back at extreme volumes, either fucking loud or barely audible. it's not something you'd stick on whilst doing the dishes or reading the paper. it takes on a whole new persona through a pa system, the louder the better. on the other hand, if you listen to it at a volume so low as to be barely heard, you hear things in it you didn't notice before.
  2.  (775.64)
    Going to fire off something quick here while I have internet access.

    Noise/Exreme music as party music? Example: Wolfs Eyes and related.

    I spent all my time in Michigan (25 years) fully within the radius of Yipsilani/Ann Arbor to experience the birth of the Wolf Eyes fringe music basement party and seen the influence it has had on other musicians (see Andrew W.K.). Noise + Rythem + Hedonism = ???

    Maybe this is next.
      CommentAuthorMike Black
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    If you listen to old extreme metal albums, they often sounds like a blur, but newer ones which have higher production values are far more clear, which gives you some idea of what bands in the past might have been aiming for.

    That was sort of what they were going for - like Mayhem and Deathcrush.

    No one's topping to Norwegian movement in terms of "extreme". Anaal Nathrakh tried, but it didn't happen. Maybe one day someone will figure out a way to surpass the Norwegian sound, but it's been at the top for nearly twenty years now, and I doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon.

    As far as where it's going, it's going to be experimentation for a long time. Dying Fetus has some really interesting things going on, but metal is split right now between the white belts and everyone else. We'll probably see a resurgence of Death Metal in reaction to the New Wave of American Thrash Metal, and the lull in Black Metal as a whole.
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    Oh yeh well black metal bands are going for that noisy blur thing, but with black metal the point is usually to be as esoteric and inaccessible as possible to show how kvlt you are, I was talking more about death metal bands where it's a lot to do with riffs and technical proficiency, like Nile, Morbid Angel, Deicide, and so on, bands whose production has got clearer over the years so that it's easier to actually hear the riffs.

    But yeh like someone said, this whole 'extreme' thing, does it really make a band more extreme if they play faster and louder than everyone else, especially if what they're playing is essentially boring?
  3.  (775.67)
    ....does it really make a band more extreme if they play faster and louder than everyone else, especially if what they're playing is essentially boring?

    Boredom is the New Extreme
    • CommentAuthortulpa
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    The way I rate noise and such is on how fun it is to listen to it. The whole point of the genre to me is that it's fun, when done by people not overly fascinated with pushing the borders of what can be considered enjoyable. Boredoms are fun. Merzbow is not.

    I'll agree with the assessment that fringe music is usually at the frontier of musical experimentation. Stuff like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Man Man, or Uz Jsme Doma can't clearly be categorized because it is genuinely different music, and while they'll never break into the mainstream, they will influence the bands around them with these unique sounds. These fringe bands are the future of music, though not directly.
    • CommentAuthoromer333
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2008
    I am tempted to close this thread simply because half-bright pop band TV on The Radio has been cited as "extreme" music.

    I beg for your tender mercies. I will go wake my neighbors up by cranking all the Ministry and High on Fire CDs I have by aiming the speakers at the floor as my penance.
  4.  (775.70)
    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Lightning Bolt in this discussion.
    They're a good example of how elements of noise can be incorporated into noise rock that has a pretty wide following if you can't exactly call it mainstream quite yet.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008 edited
    Getting people to dance and sing along to extreme tones , twisted and atonal source materiel and outright unholy noise
    is the best way of moving forward. That way mainstream acceptance lies. Otherwise you're just one bearded reader of The Wire waving at another bunch of bearded readers of The Wire.

    And I speak as a bearded reader of The Wire whose true ideal would be to make and hear music that makes pop tarts dance against their wills to twisted metal and bloodflow samples.
  5.  (775.72)
    @Brent Wilcox:

    I could rephrase the opening question... It's 1970 and you just heard DEREK BAILEY. Now what?
    Or how about... it's 1952 and you just heard John Cage's 4'33"...

    Exactly, it goes even further than that: Why not… It’s 1923 and you’ve just head Arnold Schoenberg’s Suite for Piano, Op. 25… It’s 1913 and you’ve just heard Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring: do you join in the rioting? Sod it, it’s the middle ages and you’ve just heard a tri-tone. As long as there has been a society to define what art and music should be there will always be people to show us what it could be.


    Getting people to dance and sing along to extreme tones , twisted and atonal source materiel and outright unholy noise is the best way of moving forward. That way mainstream acceptance lies. Otherwise you're just one bearded reader of The Wire waving at another bunch of bearded readers of The Wire

    I think the mainstream has a habit of absorbing fringe elements over time. Defangs them, makes them acceptable. Look at Punk, Mods and the heavy metal entrants in the Eurovision Song contest of late.

    Considering we are discussing the future of extreme music no one has pointed out the obvious. Music has always been pushed forward by technology. We’ve hit rocks and skins, moved to blowing flutes and plucking strings (YEH GODS! That rhymed…); valves on trumpets, Clavichords to Harpsichords to Piano – I’m mean the list is pretty much endless. Electronics have made us capable of producing music a musician from fifty years ago couldn’t have even considered.

    If music is pushed forward by technology then musical extremists are always there to push the technology and the listeners: Merzbow, for instance, masturbates (that’s in his own words) technology to create some truly awe inspiring pieces that pretty much push any audience to breaking point. Going back further and at risk of repeating myself - Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring had to have an orchestra of virtuoso players to conquer its sheer sprawling insanity and that’s forgetting the audience who were apparently rioting.

    So, the whole ‘Victorian Synthesiser’ thread opened my eyes quite a bit (Thanks Vanessa… it is Vanessa, right?). It’s not going to be about exploring structure, timbre and harmony – not anymore. It’s going to be about how we receive it. A few steps into the future we’ll have neural interfaces (aren’t they being developed by the air force for fighter-jets?): our brains will be stimulated directly by the music (goodbye ears) which opens up a slew of possibilities. Imagine a live gig: One man on stage with a tiny, tiny paper thin laptop and 300 people(familiar, so far) with holes in the back of their heads dancing and NO music: It’ll all be in their minds. It’s a frightening image. If it works that way, why not in reverse? Composing music directly onto hard-drive from your brain? What else… how about music being considered differently – as purely vibrations of varying intensity directed onto specific sections of the brain for particular responses (not wholly original but certainly not the norm). Christ – imagine what Merzbow would do with that kind of technology – it’d be like having a dentist drill in your brain-hole…
    • CommentAuthorTim
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet is the most extreme thing I have heard.

    4 helicopters circling above a football stadium, beaming down unearthly discords into 4 giant banks of speakers and TV monitors, the whole thing synchronised with the beat of the rotors. And almost certainly a lot louder than this rather lame youtube clip. That's what it's all about.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008 edited
    It's redundant at this point to mention "extreme" as subjective. I think right now the pendulum is swinging the opposite way, as far as music and fashion are concerned, and it has to reach a certain absurd level of conservatism before it can swing back again. Saying that loud and fast noise is the wave of the future isn't really saying much because we already have loud and fast noise, the noisiest noise available. From the current perspective, I'd say that the anti-guitar electronic minimalist synthesizer stuff is going to become super over-the-top and theatrical before everyone thinks it's completely cheesy. Then horrible popular long-haired "rock" bands that sing with gravelly voices will incorporate synthesizers and samples, and whoever is considered an "underground" act will turn against using any of those things, minimalism sans electronic elements will begin (all over again), and it will get to a point where technology allows anyone to create music regardless of ability or even interest. (That last part has kind of already happened, but it will only get worse.) Of course, this is all theoretical.
  6.  (775.75)
    Extreme music isn't. Better to call it narrow music, because all it does is exclude everything but timbre, and then play it fuckoff loud to make it seem impressive. Not that I don't like the odd bit of Boris, Merzbow, Whitehouse or whoever, but the marketing irritates the piss out of me. It's as meaningful as calling a slightly steeper skateboard ramp or a Vin Diesel movie extreme.

    You know what's extreme? That Stockhausen piece in D for organ, a single breve where semibreve = 1 hour.

    However, people looking for the future of glitchy timbral music could do worse than Keith Rowe's latest, The Room.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    I don't actually listen to much metal anymore, but if there were a song to 'bring me back' to metal, that would have to be FAR BEYOND METAL by STRAPPING YOUNG LADS. It has everything good about metal in it.

    As per the future of extreme music, I believe that would be this.

    and, you know, fucking dubstep.
  7.  (775.77)
    Stockhausen has always been an innovator to the extreme. i doubt anyone could ever match him in terms of ideas and pulling them off...
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008 edited
    haha, i was curious how long it would be before this drifted from people who actually have a vested interest in what i was talking about over to the "we are so jaded, nothing you kids talk about is actually even extreme blah blah..." side. your opinions are duly noted, but what about where you think any of this is actually going in the next five years?

    but the marketing irritates the piss out of me. It's as meaningful as calling a slightly steeper skateboard ramp or a Vin Diesel movie extreme.

    the extreme music label wasnt something i was using to try to compare to mountain dew or the warped tour. it is the catch all that is frequently used by the various different scenes that fall on the fringe of what the average listener tolerates. AND yeah, i would love to see the "marketing" for projects like nyarlthotep or man is the bastard/bastardnoise or a label like youthattack! records. i think you are talking about something different than what we are.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008
    I wasn't trying to belittle the term "extreme," I was just pointing out that it's a completely subjective term...people rioted to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, you know?
    It's intended towards fashion, but I think Laver's Law also applies in the case of music.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2008 edited
    fair enough, but my comments still stand in response to a few posters.