Noise (music)

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Noise (Engl. For "sound", "Crash", "noise") a musical (sub) genre, the classic elements of music as pure referred tone or sound largely to be complete by noise replaced. This usually goes hand in hand with the abandonment of structures such as melodies or, depending on the interpreter, more or less rhythm .

Musical limitation

Regardless of the literal translation, Noise is not directly related to classical noise music such as bruitism or musique concrète , whose starting point was real noises such as trains, engine noises, which were arranged and often combined with classical instruments. Especially in bruitism, the noises were also chosen less because of a musical quality, but had a programmatic meaning, since they referred to progress symbols such as locomotives, automobiles, machines and the like.

Noise, on the other hand, mostly works with abstract noise that is rarely referenced. Almost all noise musicians strive to make the instruments or sound events used disappear in their typical sound ( Whitehouse , for example, initially used defective or extremely overdriven synthesizers). Many bands and musicians began with classic rock band instruments that they used in a very alienated way, but switched to synthesizers in the early 1980s and computers in the 1990s . Decisive for this was not only a greater freedom in noise generation, but above all the possibility of generating extremely compact and dense noises, real walls of sound (German: "sound walls"); the noises generated should attack “not just the ear, but the entire body” and traumatize the listener. There is also a current of noise musicians who refuse to use modern devices for various reasons (e.g. DIY ethos).

Noise intends in its system less a classical music-compositional pattern than a kind of sound sculpture.


Lou Reed's album Metal Machine Music from 1975 is one of the inspiration for the genre . Further developments took place in the late 1970s . The focus in this phase was mainly England, where the impulses of early industrial quickly formed a group of independent acts that still operated as industrial and also shared the aesthetics of classic industrial à la Throbbing Gristle or SPK , but musically already completely different Took paths that separated them from industrial with the term power electronics . Outstanding was the scene around the London label Come Organization with style-defining bands such as Come , Whitehouse , Nurse with Wound , the Italian Maurizio Bianchi (aka Sacher-Pelz, MB, Leibstandarte SS MB) or Sutcliffe Jierenden (some of which overlapped in terms of personnel) .

The second important center of noise was Japan. The first bands were founded in 1979, they emerged more against a background of free jazz , free improvisation and krautrock . Therefore, the noise collages are very deep, in contrast to the more monotonous power electronics. The Japanese noise is also often referred to as "Japanoise". Most of the active people came from the so-called Kansa scene around Osaka and Kyōto ( Hijokaidan , Auschwitz ), but there was also a scene in Tokyo ( Merzbow , The Stalin ). Other important early Japanoise bands were Hanatarash , Masonna , KK Null and Gerogerigegege . Most noise recordings were distributed through small mail order publishers and were often creatively and lavishly designed. This resulted in a large number of often uncatalogued recordings that were distributed in small editions. Merzbow in particular probably released over 500 albums this way. For example, his 1930 album can be cited here. In 2001 Merzbow released the Merzbox with 50 albums. The Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine from New York was moving noise in the 80's an important document.

But noise musicians were also active at an early stage in other countries. B. Boyd Rice (aka NON), The Haters , Coup de grâce and Slogun from the USA; the Mauthausen Orchestra from Italy and at times P16.D4 and Asmus Tietchens in Germany.

In the early 1990s, according to Will I and Rose ( Cthulhu Records , Harvest ), from Nurse with Wound and a few other projects , the noise seemed to be “finally on the spot”, “musically and creatively [was] actually only reproduced and reproduced has been copied ".

Music samples

In 2005, Maurizio Bianchi released a remix of his first ten LPs with the album Blut und Nebel (for technical reasons the tracks had to be split into three parts):

  • Blood and Fog , CD 1, Part 1
  • Blood and Fog , CD 1, Part 2
  • Blood and Fog , CD 1, Part 3

Major projects, musicians and bands

Important labels

See also

Commons : Noise  - collection of images, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Allen S. Weiss: Experimental Sound & Radio , Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press 1996, p. 169.
  2. ^ A b Andreas Diesel, Dieter Gerten: Looking for Europe . Neofolk and backgrounds , 2nd edition, Index Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-2-910196-67-7 , p. 192.
  3. ^ Andreas Diesel, Dieter Gerten: Looking for Europe . Neofolk and Backgrounds , 2nd Edition, Index Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-2-910196-67-7 , p. 175.
  4. ^ Andreas Diesel, Dieter Gerten: Looking for Europe . Neofolk and backgrounds , 2nd edition, Index Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-2-910196-67-7 , p. 34.
  5. Gulaggh is a band that most people would call Noise
  6. ^ Andreas Diesel, Dieter Gerten: Looking for Europe . Neofolk and backgrounds , 2nd edition, Index Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-2-910196-67-7 , p. 164.