Nerve Net Noise

Nerve Net Noise

Meteor Circuit


There’s an art movement that originated in Japan called “Superflat.” It was largely established by artist Takashi Murakami, and most often deals with two-dimensional pop art characters. Occasionally engaged involved in an act of plush sexuality. The work, allegedly, reflects a culture that bases transcendental notions on simple icons, yet for some reason keeps them unspoken. Is that a bit vague?

Take a look at Murakami’s art. A collection of anime figures, big wide eyes, frozen and motionless, without any context. Blank, yet familiar symbols loaded with nostalgia and retaining complete subjectivity.

Maybe it’s still a little hard to describe. Let me try another angle. I grew up in Pittsburgh, so I had the privilege of being able to visit the Andy Warhol Museum, where they would screen collections of his films on a weekly basis. This allowed me to see Chelsea Girls at a fairly young age. I don’t mean to be pretentious here. I know I’ve talked about trendy art for about two paragraphs in a music review, I promise I’ll get to the point soon.

Chelsea Girls is a pretty special film. It’s four hours long, and two cameras are projecting different reels at the same time. The cast is very stoned, and they’re all incredibly honest and hungry for the spotlight. You’ll see them shoot heroin, play S&M games, demean each other, and praise themselves. They’re completely straight-forward, and yet there’s something missing. Eric, the young man who imbibed some LSD prior to his segment in the film, and has become since immortalized in indie chic culture on Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation album, summed it up lucidly. Almost completely naked and ranting, he talks about how he can show the audience everything, but it doesn’t matter, no one will ever be able to really touch him or really know what he’s thinking. Or something to that extent. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it. I can’t quote verbatim. We get satisfaction from a hidden sense of something greater, a metaphor or parable, and when someone like Eric or Murakami presents something as honest as they possibly can, we can’t help but be ravenous for more.

The new Nerve Net Noise release, Meteor Circuit is a musical equivalent. On it, you’ll hear the sounds of level, repetitive analog synthesizers, at their most honest. No string section, no backing chords, just thorny rhythms with no production gloss. The rhythms change, nearly imperceptibly, oblivious and discreet. The machines apparently do most of the work. Nerve Net Noise, a duo, monitor the inexplicable rhythms created by their homemade synthesizer’s failures. They simply stop the recording when they feel the piece has ended. There is music derived from algorithms, surface electricity of plants, natural mathematical processes. Some of it falls on its face, some of it fills in the face of nature at work.

Nerve Net Noise is flat music that infers the world.

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