Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quiet Noise: Kevin Drumm

There is a subgenre of noise, and it is truly still noise versus being "ambient" or being "electronic".  This subgenre does not have a lot of subscribers to it, mainly because it is hard to master.  But the preliminary master is Kevin Drumm.  The music is what I'm going to call Quiet Noise.
No, it's not just noise music with the volume turned down low.

The essential part of quiet noise must be the darkness, the foreboding presence to be felt.  You might be saying, but then what is Dark Ambient?  Dark Ambient is different because it is more structured, more built around "creepiness".  Quiet Noise exists because like noise, it is structure-less, impulsive, and if it did get loud enough, it would qualify as noise music.  
Kevin Drumm has released many a noteable album.  He is one of the front-runners of the American noise music scene, and a very intriguing dude.  He started to release things via his blog website a few years ago, always limited, usually via CDr or cassette.  Many of these releases are ultra limited, so if you're interested in them act fast.

Anyways, they really change up what the "theme" or "type of music" they are from release to release.  You might buy one and hear a droning, processed accordion (The Kitchen), you might hear fragments of electronic bustle (The Back Room), you might hear an intensely quiet "barely there" whine (Blast of Silence).  It is these later releases I'm focusing on now.

The real start for me was "Twinkle Toes"  which even Kevin described as "airy romantic bs".  It is just that, barely there, single blips of sound, and a throttling background of what sounds like a police siren slowed down about 200%.  It's music that I don't know how to understand, it escapes all rudimentary classification.

Following in its footsteps were "Moving", "UGH", "Quiet Nights", "Tannenbaum", and "Earrach".  I think "1983" is going to be the same, but I have yet to buy it (I know, just kill me now).  That's okay, I literally opened up a new tab and bought it just now.  So there.

I don't know how else to describe this music or to extend to you, my casual viewer, that is is very unique.  Especially if you get your hands on Moving.  I have only heard an excerpt (I don't buy cassettes, sorry!) and it's amazing.  And I would love for anyone with a copy of UGH, to just add a description of it, online, for the rest of us.