Noise is the voice of the chaos gods. In noise all possible sounds are present albeit in a kaleidoscopic non-hierarchy. Noise doesn’t allow our expectations that order will materialize to come to fruition. It trumps us and our plans, leaving us vulnerable, stunned. Don’t let this fool you however, noise is music. From early recordings of DADA and Futurist artists such as Hugo Ball and Luigi Russolo on into Musique Concrete to the sirens and crackles of Public Enemy’s “The Bomb Squad” and up to current aural assaults by SunnO))), noise is music. Noise is also our world. Think of the soundscape you move through each day. All of the alarms and sirens and microwave bleeps and computer blaps and Doppler effects of cars and bits of conversation and jackhammers and helicopters and horns and laughter and static and doors opening and doors closing and insects and birds and ocean waves and bed springs and all of it, all of it. We are adrift in a sea of noise.
Japan is apparently crazy for noise. Since the late 1960’s the Japanese underground has produced some of the scariest, overblown and sublime sounds the world has ever known. Two early purveyors, Keiji Haino and Les Razilles Denudes were simply devastating. Move on a bit to Zeni Geva, Merzbow and Masonna and you’re into some serious schizo territory.
Current purveyors such as Acid Mother’s Temple and Ghost are furthering the range and impact of the eternal noise theatre. What is it about Japan specifically? Could it be the legacy of being the only country ever bombed with nuclear weapons? That certainly seems to have contributed to the stream of atomic monster movies produced over the last 40 years in Japan. Mothra, Gammara and of course Godzilla all seemed to involve variations on the theme of nuclear bombs and accidents. is it the vibrant and heightened drama of Kabuki and Noh Theatres? is it the wildly colorful youth street culture? The full body tattoos of the Japanese Mafia? The religious response to nature so prevalent in Shinto? I guess it’s no one thing in particular. It’s more likely just an accumulation of a rich and colorful heritage combined with some very creative souls.
Oddly enough not all noise is particularly noisy. In fact some of the more interesting uses of noise can be in smaller and quiet sound event.
There is an entire record label called lowercase that explores some of these more tranquil noise events. Other noise can be quite melancholy. Think of the band “The Birthday Party” or even some of Tom Waits on ‘Swordfishtrombones’ or “Heart Attack and Vine”. Noise can be used subtly to convey sadness or strategically to highlight an explosive moment. This is the realm in which we find LSD March and their latest reissued release, “Empty Rubious Red” (aRCHIVE).
As stated above this disc is a reissue of a previously (and microscopically available) independent release. It has a couple additional tracks and some great new art work by Joe DeNardo of the band “Growing”.
Where as some of the aforementioned noise merchants come out of the box swinging, LSD March tends to take a bit more time. Songs start out with odd and quiet tinklings. They sound like springs popping and marbles rolling through a piano. LSD March main man Shinsuke Michishita is a master of restraint. But when things finally let loose, watch out! The music on this disc is actually a nice range. There are quiet and melancholy moments. At times (“As Many A Stars In The Sky” and “Nude and Bizarre”) he drifts into a scorched and parched folk music. The ethereal songs serve as a nice counter-point to the monstrously thundering jams such as “Empty Rubious Red”. LSD March are perhaps not as steeped in pure noise as say The Boredoms. THey are more psychedelic, folksy and drone based. As with many great Japanese bands they are synthesists. This is great music to listen to while starring out at the vast ocean on a clear day from a tall cliff. It represents the quieter and more expansive possibilities of the noise equation.
This album is sold out at aRCHIVE but you can download the entire album from the Lotushouse Records mp3 shopzone [http://www.lotushouserecords.com/shop].