Noice by Alexander Noice

Release date: August 23, 2019
Label: Orenda Records

I wonder what the music business people and fans in general in search of an instant genre label will try to call the music presented on Noice, the new album by Los Angeles, composer, guitarist, producer, and bandleader Alexander Noice? Disco prog (the opener ‘Affectation’)? Operatic modern classical with Balkan female vocals (‘Black Darwin’)? Dance ambient jazz (‘Ambit’)? I could go on like that through all eight tracks on the album…

Hard to slap a label on something that does its best (and succeeds) to be inventive and defy genres, isn’t it? And that is exactly what Noice does here, somehow spiritually following in the footsteps of some of the Eighties ZE Records luminaries and even more so the first legendary Was (Not Was) album. Oh, and a few other things in between, from Derek Bailey to Laurie Anderson and what not…

 

Part of the inventiveness lies in the fact that Noice used a combination of live instruments and tailor made-samples – Ethiopian vocal recordings, 808 drum samples, and recordings of children with stuttering speech syndrome, among many others. Such an approach is no surprise when you take into consideration that Noice played with jazz experimentalists from Charlie Haden to Wadada Leo Smith, Vincent Gallo, Art Ensembles of Chicago’s Famoudou Don Moye, and saxophonist Vinny Golia. Or try for size his initial release Music Made With Voices in which he uses a single note sung by eight different people as the sole source material to create eight elaborate, fragmented sonic portraits that reflect our modern relationships seen through a digitized prism.

And all that (and more) you can find on Noice (pun intended, for sure), which can be characterized as anything even mutant rock (I think that genre already exists), as on ‘Fly Inside The Wall’ and ‘Never Thought I Would’ but (useless) noise. Maybe just inventive new music will suffice.

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