Here's political satire and pioneering sampledelica from the veteran band of merry Bay Area pranksters, eighteen meditations on an increasingly vexing question: "Is there any escape from noise?" The concept embraces all manner of interference — glitches on cable TV, a bee in a can of soda, a hiccuping child — and it's surprisingly profound — Escape from Noise actually makes an apt companion to social theorist Jacques Attali's classic Noise: The Political Economy of Music. With its found sound collage usually perched atop very '80s sequenced rhythm tracks, it's somewhat dated — "Time Zones" is a Cold War relic and "Car Bomb" is not so funny anymore, but the infamous "Christianity Is Stupid" and pokes at corporate radio (the eerie "Quiet Please"), handgun owners, the music industry ("Michael Jackson"), and nuclear power (the bracing "You Don't Even Live Here") are more relevant than ever. Listen for the Residents ("hoots and clanging") and Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart ("mouth sounds" and "processed animals").
By Robert Ham on 10.28.14 in Reviews
On their 1987 album Escape From Noise, Negativland titled one of their songs, simply, "Christianity Is Stupid." Now, close to 30 years later, the Bay Area-based sound-collage collective has a more thoughtful perspective...
By Jordan Cronk on 09.03.14 in Features
How one documentary captured the final years of Olympia's monumental music fest, Yoyo A Gogo.
By Philip Sherburne on 06.11.09 in Spotlights
No history of electronic music would be complete without a chapter dedicated to Kraftwerk, the German quartet who introduced synthesizers and chugging, "motorik" rhythms to pop music - and in so doing laid the groundwork...
By Robert Ham on 02.25.15 in Features
From Shania Twain to Patrick Wolf, these musicians couldn't leave well enough alone and rerecorded their work.