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‘People Who Do Noise’: a noise music documentary


Modified Casio keyboard by Tablebeast
 
Noise may not be to everyone’s taste (in fact by definition noise is classed as “unwanted” sounds) but to the hardcore few it’s a way of life. This documentary follows some of those artists and shows them performing live, often on homemade or radically modified kit, and talking about the philosophy and influences behind their work. You won’t have heard of many of these performers but that’s the point - they are not in it for fame or money, they are simply following their muse in as unhindered a way as possible.

Most of the artists featured in People Who Do Noise are based in Portland, Oregon, and here’s a bit more info via the site filmbaby:

The film takes a very personal approach, capturing the musicians working alone with no interference from a live audience. What often took place in crowded basements or dark smoky venues was stripped bare for the cameras, providing an unprecedented glimpse of the many different instruments and methods used.

Covering a wide range of artists and styles, the film features everything from the absurdist free-improvisations of genre-pioneers Smegma, to the harsh-noise assaults of Oscillating Innards and everything in between. Many of the artists in the film, such as Yellow Swans and Daniel Menche, have performed and sold records all over the world. In spite of such successes, noise music remains one of the least understood and most inaccessible of genres.

OK, so most of this is pushing at the very boundaries of what we call “music”, but that’s pretty much the point. Casual observers (and listeners) may not make it very far into this doc because of, well, the noise, but it’s worth resisting the urge to skip forward as you may miss some very interesting interview footage. While some of these performers come across as pretentious, regardless of what you think of the sounds they create you can’t help but admire their freedom and lack of constraints:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Russia’s Full of Queers’: free benefit album highlighting Russia’s new anti-LGBT laws


 
Compiled by friend of Dangerous Minds Elizabeth Veldon, and available as a free download from the net label Black Circle, Russia’s Full of Queers is a 29 track album designed to highlight the abuse of LGBT people’s rights currently being passed as law in several Russian cities. Elizabeth says:

This album is a response to proposed laws in Russia that would outlaw any discussion of homosexuality, bisexuality or transgenderism.

The artists involved gave their tracks free and in many cases produced work to a tight (24 hour) schedule.

There is a wide variety of styles here from Harsh Noise through weird Jazz Cut-Ups to Hip Hop and Ambient.

We only ask that you sign the online petition against these laws and pass the word on.

Alone our voices are tiny, when raised together we can change the world.

 
You can sign the petition here, and you can download Russia’s Full Of Queers here.
 

 
Previously on DM:
Petition to stop Russian authorities passing “draconian” anti-gay bill

 

‘The Art Of Sounds’ - terrific documentary on the French composer Pierre Henry


 
Some more vintage electronic French pop to round out the week on Dangerous Minds. Some folk may not know the name Pierre Henry, but they definitely know his music - well they would know his music, were it not for the fact that what they are hearing isn’t actually him. I’m talking of course about the Futurama theme tune, and how it is a blatant rip-off of Henry’s classic ‘Psyche Rock’ from 1967 (more specifically, the Fatboy Slim remix).

Now, don’t get me wrong I love Futurame, but it’s to Matt Groening’s eternal shame that he did not just stump up whatever cash was required to purchase the original track. What we now have in its place every week is a lame facsimile, that some people even confuse with the original track. Oh well. That’s entertainment!

Regardless, The Art of Sound is an excellent French (subtitled) documentary directed by Eric Darmon and Franck Mallet from 2006 that follows Pierre Henry as he collects unique sounds for his compositions, sets up an even more unique live concert in his house, and generally looks back over a career in music that spans over fifty years. It’s intimate and revealing, and its central figure comes across as quite the character.

No, scrub that - Pierre Henry is the shit. He went from being a pioneer of musique concrete with Pierre Schaeffer in the 1950s to creating psychedelic sound-and-light shows in 1960s Paris that could match anything dreamt up by Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. He composed music for abstract ballets that still sounds genuinely psychedelic and like nothing else today. He may come across as crabby and extremely eccentric in this film, but I still hope I end up as cool as this guy if I get to be his age. I mean, you have to be pretty awesome to attract a steady fanbase to abstract electronic recital shows in your own bloody house, right?
 

 
BONUS!
More psyche-pop magic, this time with Henry & Colombier’s “Teen Tonic” (1967) set to footage of the 1960s German TV fashion Show Paris Aktuel by YouTube uploader Cosmocorps2000:

Pierre Henry & Michel Colombier “Teen Tonic”
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
X-TG carry on

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The question of whether or not Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has quit Throbbing Gristle remains not fully answered. Despite Thee Deevelopment, TGers Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have gone on to fulfill their early-November live TG obligations in Italy and Portugal as X-TG. The group has uploaded some media from those shows on their new site.

P-Orridge’s ambivalent statement on the matter was offset by “Unkle Sleazy’s” take, and there’s likely debate as to how much value a P-Orridge-less TG holds. I’d think the excerpts below from the two shows speak for themselves.
 

  X-TG ‘XPad’ Live at Porto Casa Musica by Industrial Records
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment