The duo Noise arose from the same circle of underground musicians around the Minor performance space in Tokyo that gave birth to Fushitsusha, High Rise, Gaseneta, Kosokuya, and less well-known Japanese groups exploring the tangents between avant-garde rock and improvisation. Noise was actually slightly less noisy than most of these other groups, though certainly just as experimental with their no-wave approach. The group was formed by Reiko Omaru in 1979, and after a few lineup changes and flirting with a more punk style, settled down to the duo of Tori Kudo on drums and organ, and Omaru on vocals, guitar, and trumpet, and composing all of the music, as well. The pair performed several live shows at various Tokyo venues in late 1979 and 1980. Their music was dark and minimalist, with Kudo's long, droning organ chords and ritualistic ...
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Artist Biography

by Rolf Semprebon

The duo Noise arose from the same circle of underground musicians around the Minor performance space in Tokyo that gave birth to Fushitsusha, High Rise, Gaseneta, Kosokuya, and less well-known Japanese groups exploring the tangents between avant-garde rock and improvisation. Noise was actually slightly less noisy than most of these other groups, though certainly just as experimental with their no-wave approach.

The group was formed by Reiko Omaru in 1979, and after a few lineup changes and flirting with a more punk style, settled down to the duo of Tori Kudo on drums and organ, and Omaru on vocals, guitar, and trumpet, and composing all of the music, as well. The pair performed several live shows at various Tokyo venues in late 1979 and 1980. Their music was dark and minimalist, with Kudo's long, droning organ chords and ritualistic drumbeats mixed with Omaru's fragile but disjointed vocals, atonal guitar snarls, and bleats of distorted trumpet. Their music shares the minimalist aesthetic of early Velvet Underground or Suicide, but takes it even further. Noise also recorded the album Tenno, and this record was released in 1980 on the label of a well-known bootlegger who vanished soon after, leaving the group floundering and in debt. The rare record quickly became a high-priced collectable among record fanatics.

Noise continued off and on until 1982, sometimes as a duo, but by late 1982 Omaru was performing under the Noise moniker solo. Omaru and Kudo married each other soon after that. Tori Kudo went on to play in several groups, as well as to form Guys & Dolls in the early '80s and Mahir Shalal Hash Baz a year or two later. Noise leader Reiko Omaru occasionally played in Mahir Shalal Hash Baz, but nothing was seen of her own projects until the release of a solo effort Fire Inside My Hat. The Noise LP Tenno was eventually reissued properly on CD by Pataphysique Records in 1997 with some bonus live material.