30.10.08

ribs out


We’re interested in noise as a sonic tool, not as an entity.
- Benjamin John Power, Fuck Buttons

What the fuck does this mean? What is the site of noise?

I guess pretty quickly you'd tell me that it's the body. Duh. But, then the problem is, why is it that so much noise is art-noise, the kind that sits very much in the cognitive, post-/anti-affective dimension? Like a kind of classical for technology? Fuck that.

Because Fuck Buttons make music that is for your bones. But not just to rattle them. Power and Andrew Chung got together initially, so they say, to make pain-inducing noise music. You know the kind, creepy shit that scratches at the back of your neck, repeats on itself in a really violent way. Then they wised up. And they realised that noise and pop/pleasure (well, something like it) were not ≠ - you can bring in structure and process and intention and melody and shit like that, but in a way that fucks with both ends o the spectrum.

Because - we're getting there - the end result is something like a sonic continuum between drone and pop, primal and culture, mind and body. It pleases a deep-seeded animalistic instinct in us (but not in those drums and monkey noises, no no, they're for this next desire) and yet it also appeals to our irreducible socialised sense of 'what music should sound like' - in doing so it deconstructs, no, fuck it, destructs, the barriers between noise and music and opens up once conservative ears to some truly outré shit.

Back to the question, though, what is the site? Mind and body? Well it's kind of actually not either really. Do you know that everything makes noise, that, as our fave John Cage found out, there is no such thing as silence? Well, then, that might give you a clue - FUCK BUTTONS IS EVERYWHERE. It's the horizon. It is the endlessness of sound, alien expanses of beats, drones, pitches, loops, bells.

But it's not all just some slap-dash throw it all together kind of 'world of sounds' bullshit. As if that would ever work. You can never actually include everything on an album, can you? But what you can do is kind of criss-cross bodies with their environments by passing through the ear, so that things kind of stretch in front and behind this music - I'm not really sure if I'm talking time or space, here, maybe both - so its special affect is like before and after you're listening to it.

That's where it is - it is both beating at your chest, and taking those bones well beyond whatever corporeal throne they were meant to stay inside, and it's doing it through your head - because you're processing the modulations, the harsh/nice sounds.

Ribs out.

4 riffs:

richard said...

i have no idea what that quote might mean. and i always thought that fuck buttons' noise fell pretty flat; kind of like some dudes playing super obvious keyboard melodies over and over for 8 minutes, then doing some lame amatuery textural stuff trying to be all visceral or something

Lawson said...

that's probably a far more astute commentary there, Richard, but we may as well at least try think like they're doing something, no?

dave said...

My interpretation of the quote is pretty basic. Kinda like: We want to use noise as opposed to studying it. We want to see what we can do with noise, as opposed to exploring the noise itself.

I loved this blogpost, and I also didn't understand basically any of it.

Lawson said...

why is it every commenter (sp?) (lol) keeps summing things up in like two sentences better than i can in whole post?