Thursday, April 11, 2013

Aube (Nakajima Akifumi)

Entry one.
I've wasted three lines already!

Music is something that I find tremendously interesting.  I like a wide range of eclectic and strange stuff, and lean towards "electronic" and "experimental" music.  I have thoughts about it I've tried to share via a few very short lived websites, so now I thought I'd start a blog about it instead.  I do not have any idea how you'll find this if you do, but if you do I hope you like it.

Day 1
the strange world of japanese noise........

noise is very different overseas, it seems.  it's not this ridiculed thing, and it actually is pretty interesting.  i am into several american noise acts, but most noise and most people that like it tend to be in europe, canada, and japan.  japanese noise is ruled by several titans, all of them having a long history of making noise.
strange as a word does not describe noise music.  in fact, no single word, idea, or even this blog i'm writing can come close to "defining" noise, nor should it try.  rather, i'm just going to write about it, how i like it, and what the different "varieties" are

merzbow is perhaps the most known japanese noise musician.  his startling output spans hundreds of releases from the late seventies until now, and has remained quiet noisy and actually popular during that time.  if anyone you know has any knowledge of noise, they will undoubtedly know of his work.

my personal favorite however, is aube, also known as nakajima akifumi.  i just think its pretty amazing that all of his recordings are based on usually only one audio source, for example water.  he will take these recordings of water, screw around with them and mix them and layer them and so forth, and create dense, wonderful drone type sounds with them.  i just find this type of music fascinating.  the raw power of the sound can be overwhelming, and the drones can impact you in ways that you can't ever imagine water doing.
this type of music i just see as so eclectic, bizarre, and downright confusing sometimes.  like, i want to ask aube why?  why take water, or a light bulb, or a heart beat, lungs, a can, a floppy disk, a clock, fire, a building, steel wire, etc, why take these and turn them into these songs?  is it that you understand the sounds that these things can make that most of us are not aware of, and thus you feel you need to present them in this way?  is it just a test to yourself to make a whole track, a whole album, out of one sound source?

it is the concept of some musicians to include the sounds of the natural world (hence the whole genre of field recording) and aube's music is sort of related to this.  perhaps in some bizarre condition, you could hear sounds similar to the ones he makes in the natural world - given they they are for the most part from naturally occurring sources.  even the man made sources are usually not traditional sound-making objects.  a floppy disk, a can, a building, steel wire - these things were not designed with the sonic possibilities in mind.  we have seen other examples of this sound being used however, one of the notable related jobs would be a foley artist, who commonly uses man made or natural devices to make sounds.

perhaps in a way aube is doing this job as well.  perhaps the type of audio that he creates could be classified as creative foley.  he does use audio producing sound devices too, however.  often he will use a voltage controlled oscillator, small speakers have been used, and furthermore he has used a monophonic analogue synthesizer.  in his later recordings, it seemed his use of electronic sound producing machines was raised a bit, and he also began to combine multiple sounds into making single tracks and albums.  in addition to these two changes, he also began to remix the works of other musicians, as well as remix his previously recorded albums and tracks.

what makes this music deeper to me is the ability to really make an impact.  i first heard "cardiac strain" which is made using only the sounds of the human heart.  by playing with the sounds and mixing them, he was able to create interesting and really dynamic sounds structures.  the track "infatuation" is the stand out track for me, the high pitched cry in the background as the violent throbbing makes you hope and prey that your heart never sounds like this.  it is perhaps made more powerful by the fact we're listening to the sound of humanity, of the blood in our very veins, and the essence of life itself.

okay, i just want to post this.  more later i promise.  probably shouldn't have started writing while i was busy.

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