Sound of Music

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With liner notes that give special thanks to Merzbow's Masami Akita, one would expect this venture from Norwegian experimental band Jazzkammer to be on the noisy side, and it is. The one track on this 3" CD was recorded live in Tokyo, and it definitely reaches Merzbow-sized decibel-shattering within its 20-minute length. The CD starts off with a few seconds of clanging guitar strings, then gets quiet before a low hum becomes audible, and then some bursts of feedback noise slowly build up into intense chaos. There's enough organization in the chaos to make it interesting, with drone pitches heard over the electro-distortion din, and then suddenly the noise lets up; some choppy bursts of static or strange loops of sound provide a brief respite before heading back into the overload of high-intensity noise. The moments of relative calm give the piece more structure, and the piece develops as it goes along, which keeps it interesting. Though it's one of those full-on sonic assaults similar to Merzbow and other Japanoise bands, it still retains enough of the electro-glitch typical of Jazzkammer, and that element of improvisation helps Sound of Music to rise above the standard headache-inducing noise album.