For those of us who were not free to go to Bristol for Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival in November and December of 2012, thankfully there is some documentation from the event. Live at the Schimpfluch Carnival captures two performances from the “Old Guard” of noise. GX Jupitter-Larsen and the New Blockaders bring more than a combined eight decades of experience to the stage, and even in such a case as to where reputation must precede the acts, some of the material presented here is blisteringly powerful, nuanced, and emotive.
My main complaint with this release is that it doesn’t come with visual evidence of the event in the form of an additional DVD. The footage (available on YouTube) is at times comically absurd and worth watching. Through electronics, scrap metal, destruction, and repetitive action, the four of them manage to create an unholy din that stands somewhere between harsh noise and harsh noise wall; if HNW is a literal wall, then imagine every square inch of its face covered in insects of various types and size. Without video accompaniment, your mind fills in the blanks. This is the sound of:
- A jet engine, a metal desk being drug across the floor, a construction crew
- A tornado and a riot
- A hurricane, industrial factory, sorting scrap metal
Of course, the specifics are not the point, but for Anti-Art, Dada, Aktionism, Noise, Schimpfluch, etc., the use of irregular materials for creative production is sort of the point.
Overall, one of the aspects that is most intriguing about noise is how easily and variably the concept can be viewed. GX Jupitter-Larsen has arguably taken the Haters farther conceptually than most other noise acts. Repetition, destruction, age, and friction are more the focus of their performances, though transmuted into sound that is physically affecting. They follow in a lineage of theory and experimentation that both informs and abstains from trends and contemporary movements. Now mix that with the New Blockaders’s sense of tongue-in-cheek nihilism and militant aesthetics.
Unfortunately, the B-side cut is far less dynamic. What was a full-on noise assault is now replaced with shouting, whistles, and saxophone noodling. There is a sense that the audience is goaded on into yelling, jeers, and whistles, but all the same, this is one of those recordings where the people making the sound are having more fun than the listener. It sounds more like a free jazz street performance during Carnival, and while kinetic, it lacks the dense texture that the A side provides.
A1) Live at the Schimpfluch Carnival (GX Jupitter-Larsen with the New Blockaders)
A2) These Things Happen (feat. Ace Farren)