the new blockaders - das zerstoren, zum gebaren

CD/7", 2007, Blossoming Noise, Lilburn.   Sold Out


limited edition of “das zerstoren” with an extra 7“ and 3 inserts

dp - collaborator


If you listen closely to the first few seconds of Das Zerstoren, Zum Gebaren by The New Blockaders, amidst the typical chattering of gig-goers you can hear the musical motif of a fruit machine as it announces the fortunes of a lucky gambler. In what was surely one of the strangest, most oddly brilliant settings for the performance of thoroughly abrasive music, I was chuffed to witness The New Blockaders at Butlins holiday resort in December 2006. The show was organised as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival curated by Thurston Moore in the ongoing Nightmare Before Christmas series and was the last public performance by the Rupenus brothers under the TNB moniker. Scheduled for a Saturday afternoon this was, perhaps unintentionally, the group’s Anti- methodology at its finest. As strained-glacier creaks are quickly punctuated by severe feedback and amplified, distorted metal scrapes are voiced against a backdrop of shuffling, banging, organic cracks and door slamming electronics, the Blockaders’ set grows into a fierce, gale force sonic storm, full of air, as vertiginous as it is characterised by sheer depth. Audio debris floats and falls, indeterminate voices howl and wall-crumbling bass rattles and pushes through and through. The awe-inspiring immensity of this sound-field did not become so apparent to me until I was able to hear the performance again on CD, when it was released on the Blossoming Noise label in 2007. Though I would be quick to single out the comparable noise aesthetics of Masami Akita and Koji Tano as responsible for transcendent experiences in undiluted extreme-spectrum audio, Das Zerstoren, Zum Gebaren stands out for its multi-dimensionality, stone-chip detail and relentless formal progression. Even as a well-versed and devoted listener of noise music, it is rare that I stay the course of a full-length Merzbow disc at home, but this is 50 minutes that I never feel the slightest urge to turn off. Fellow audio artist Damion Romero has recorded, mixed and mastered this set faultlessly. Perhaps the nuances and shadings in the sound ripping out of the PA did not hold my full attention, as there was so much to witness visually (rare at these types of shows) that I still recall clearly over three years later: the puzzlement and sense of unease amongst the hired security staff, forced to stand ramrod in front of the speakers and unsure as to whether the typical faux-machismo pushing and shoving amongst the Noise Faithful down front needed ‘sorting out’. Then there was Thurston Moore in the crowd, quietly moving to the side of the stage, seeming as if he was trying to glimpse what set-up the group were using and appearing as contented as a child to see his heroes up close. Finally, the clinical manner in which one of the Balaclava’d Blockaders signalled to Romero to turn it the fuck UP. This was not a Council-compliant, audience-sympathetic musical territory. This was the final attack by the original noise band. When I listen to the audio material on the CD, I often put aside my recollection of the actual event in favour of a distinct visualisation of the sound: the total destruction of a skyscraper of glass and metal and office furniture, but played in reverse. Starting from floating, burnt paper and single shards of glass, rising back up; twisted metal foundations groaning back into shape; wooden constructions shoved back into order; windows refitted and reflecting sunlight, escalators and elevators whirring into action; voices again; energy and action. Built out of a million fragments into a teeming, lively industry, The New Blockaders here demonstrate the ability to be creative within a musical practice often derided as destructive. I forget the bullshit, macho, beer-swilling posturing of the countless shitty Noise acts; the sicko-puerile fixations of the goofy mini-mixer twiddlers. There was so much humour in the spectacle of several suited sonic terrorists staging their blockade at Butlins, and an assured command of sound beyond pantomime and dabbling that hit me so profoundly and continues to inspire me. The AudioVisual Salvage Noise Canon starts here.