Various Artists

2002 Northern California Noise Festival: If Opera's Not Your Thing...

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This compilation CD-R was produced to give a taste of 16 of the artists presented during the 2002 Northern California Noise Festival. Of course, you can enjoy opera too, but this roster explores something completely different -- although one could argue that the Abstractions and Saint of Killers' singer, Jesse Quattro, would make a fine diva. Culled from various self-released albums and demos, these tracks also provide a good snapshot of the NorCal noise scene in all its diversity. Listeners have heard people say that "noise is noise, no matter how you put it." Wrong. The aficionado knows that there is room for a lot of subtle nuances and different approaches. Every sub-sub-trend is represented, from the bombastic, harsh noise of Xome and Sickness to the free improv of the Abstractions, the tribal jamming of Instagon, the free rock ranting of Uberkunst, and the utterly strange lounge of KrusTal Marimba Lounge. Standout tracks will depend solely on the listener's tastes and endurance threshold -- Xome's "Mi-an-ham-ni-da" is one thunderous power-tool assault. This album can be the source of a few discoveries, but the listener is left in the dark. The absence of liner notes, not even contact addresses, makes it very difficult to look up one's favorites.