Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Fuzzy logic

"Air in the lungs for some of the most influential music ever made", says J. J. Anselmi of distortion and amplification, whose history he outlines in a short but informative piece for Noisey.

As with so many things, the discovery of distortion was essentially a happy accident, offering blues players wanting a rougher, noisier, grittier sound in keeping with the subject matter of their lyrics. According to Anselmi, it's the Fender Super Amp and pioneering musicians like Goree Carter and Ike Turner's guitarist Willie Kizart whom we have to thank for that beautiful fuzzy sound and the subsequent arms race to be the loudest band of all: Deep Purple, Motorhead, electronic acts like Leftfield and Merzbow, contemporary noise fiends like Sunn O))), Dalek, Jucifer, Tim Hecker and The Body.

There's no mention of Swans and their legendarily punishing live shows, but I have twice experienced (with earplugs) the so-called "holocaust section" of My Bloody Valentine's 'You Made Me Realise', which they resurrected for the reunion shows in the late noughties and which turned noise into a primal physical force that seemed to make every atom of your body reverberate.

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