OUT OF THE UNKNOWN - Amplified Punks Hair Funked

Album: Amplified Punks Hair Funked
Tags: Noise-Rock, Electronics, Improvisation, Experimental, Avant-Rock, Heavy, Art-Rock
WTF Qualities: Wild electronics, heavy improvisation, open form, long stretches of space mixed with outbursts of colorful noise
Year: 2010
Country: Japan
Link: Label Page: http://www.q-tone.com/site/pages/releases/qt05.html / MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/ootu

What does this artwork sound like to you?

 Do you hear rhythm in it? Harmony? Fragments of high pitched tones? Is it even musical?
The imaginary game of "hearing" sounds or even music from pieces of art can be a rewarding and enjoyable one.
You can even take it a step further and try to listen to any object. Any visual idea can be translated into sound.
Our senses are connected and have the power to speak to one another.
It's a sensitivity that can be developed and nurtured.

Many musicians also work in the field of visual art. From Jerry Garcia to Miles Davis to Captain Beefheart to Ron Wood.
Have you ever tried to connect a musician's visual art with his or her music? What are the correlations?

Certain music is hard to disassociate with specific styles of the fine arts. For example, Claude Debussy goes hand in hand with impressionist artists such as Claude Monet. While listening to his music the world around us transforms into vivid moving blurred strokes.

The artwork above is from Tokyo artist Yoshihiro Kikuchi, who is also half of OUT OF THE UNKNOWN.
Their first full album, "Amplified Punks Hair Funked", will soon be released on the German q-tone label.
It plays as a noise-rock representation of Kikuchi's visual art.
Vibrant yet dissonant, playful and obsessively detailed, animated and humorous yet a feeling of a heavy gravitation towards dark secrets of the human psych.
All present in both mediums.


Yoshihiro Kikuchi: drums, noise, computer, editing, artwork, outburst, swearing, hell
Nori Arita: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, violin, computer, mix

This album is made up of two long tracks. Clocking in at 26:17 and 13:32.

The first track is humorously titled "Hammered Metal in Crap Disco is Singin'"
A slow and minimal guitar and drum kit create a meditative atmosphere as it unravels the beginning of this album. This does not prepare us for what's further inside.
Eventually a few snare hits take us into a quick burst of noise-rock over-drive.
This combination of open meditative space and sudden explosions of colorful noise carries over to many of Kikuchi's art pieces.

My interest perks up when the noise drops out and a guitar begins to web dissonant and angular sounds against samples, electronics, and sparse drums. Over what sounds like a few loops everything slowly builds up and gets a bit more wild and freaky until a final breakdown taking us to the end of this track.

The next track titled, "Ornette Plays Metal Music on Crashed Computer", is a whole different animal.
This is where the true WTF begins if you ask me.
Right off the bat we are treated to droned out electronic yelps and cries. Very colorful and funny.
This carries on for a while - weaving and diving sounds splash into one another and ripple outwards only to return again in an altered state.
The music on this track reflects the vibrant and playful visual collage style of Kikuchi's artwork.

In a twisted kind of way this music succeeds in taking Noise-Rock into the art gallery.
It's the product of the world after it's gone through the filter of a true artist.
With it's great awareness of space, attention to detail, sense of ease and humor and it's unique perception of atmosphere.
But most important, this music can teach us something. The relationship between sound and sight.
What we see can be heard.
And what we hear can be seen.
And just maybe we can work these lessons into our daily routine.

More of Yoshihiro Kikuchi's artwork can be viewed here:

You can listen to both tracks of the album from WTFMusic.org here:

Hammered Metal in Crap Disco is Singin - http://wtfmusic.org/#music/133/679
Ornette Plays Metal Music on Crashed Computer - http://wtfmusic.org/#music/133/680

Further discussion of this artist and album can be found here:


dadala - recycles


Artist: dadala
Album: recycles
Tags: collage, dada, experimental, drone,
WTF Qualities: Mixing of many materials from different recordings and different times, manipulation through tape mixed with improvisation and musique concrete composition
Year: 2004
Link: http://www.peripheralmusic.org/rdunlap/

"Kaleidescopic dadaist collage"
The multifaceted world of dadala centers around RDunlap (R for Richard) who works in consort with a plethora of musical minds to create a kind of collage remix modern day digital musique concrete. The results are broad, diverse, expansive, far-reaching, and yet a quality of precision and an aesthetic of cohesion keeps the music rotating within a gravitational swirl. The arms of the vortex are glinting with colors and debris and the detritus of the eternal void.

Dada that funny anti-art ism which had its day almost 100 years ago, where did it go, what's it doing these days, where does it hang out, what kind of cigars does it smoke? Since the spirit of what we call dada historically relates to an artistic reaction to the first world war, it's only really a funny word, and its relevance ties into a broader realm of pushing the bounds and breaking the rules and norms of what art is and should be. We could call this the avant-garde, but even that sounds too much like an official form or movement; or we could call it progress, or experimentation, or challenging our sensibilities, or simply the creative spirit. We don't need to call it anything, only to recognize it, and that's how I see it relating to dadala. Sound collage is the medium. It lies outside of the established camps of musical modes, on the fringes. It lives by its own fragmented logic into which the influences of modern music seep. In the polygonal surfaces of the kaleidoscope lens are aspects of jazz, neoclassical chamber, urban beats, glitch electronic, folk, ambient, drone, and various textures of noises and musical utterances.

Source material, as far as I can tell, and from reading what I could find about dadala's constructional process, is largely from a collective of musicians in the dadala circle who have recorded various composed or improvised material, anywhere from 25 years ago to the present. These source recordings are layered and spliced with field recordings, other improvisers, or further layers of composed material. The result is simultaneously organic and synthetic.

Dadala's first album from 2004 contains the essence of this concept and is aptly titled "recycles." The bed of textures in this album and the alternate realities they convey, while separated into tracks and spread out over about an hour, seem to intertwine and revolve around one another. Themes appear and resurface - wailing echoes of a sax, tribal percussion, deep ambient dark rumblings, non-rhythmical slicing and cut electronic sounds, cold synth sounds, bell-like tones, sped up and reversed sounds, abstract beats, and so on. Occasionally other natural sounds pop up. At other moments throughout the album I imagine the sounds of machinery. A swirl of colors.

Subsequent albums add further dimensions to the nebulous system, and now it seems the project has mutated into a full fledged ensemble. This is very exciting, as I'd love to hear this music performed in live. The dynamic of real time interaction could launch this music into new unseen territory. We look forward to the next dadala release.

If you'd like to hear the music, there's lots of it available for download from the internet archives. Please go to the above link to find it all.

- Jeemobon

Staraya Derevnya - From Inside The Log

Artist: Staraya Derevnya
Album: From Inside The Log
Tags: Psychedelic, Folk, Ethnic, Fusion, Experimental, Russian, Acoustic, Post-Punk
WTF Qualities: Open folk form, eerie distorted vocals, a fusion of various acoustic instruments mixed with psychedelic qualities, angry chant like vocals ontop of beautifully arranged instruments, alien sounds throughout
Year: 2010
Country:  Israel / UK
Link: MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/starayaderevnya / Offical HomePage (In Russian only) - www.starayaderevnya.co.uk

How does one define energy in music?
I'm not talking about rhythm or tempo. Not the pace of a song or the speed of delivery.
Perhaps the chemistry of excitement that circulates around the vision involved in the music.
The very thing that seems to be lacking in a lot of experimental and avant-garde music.
Sometimes musicians get too wrapped up in experimentation and trying to be fresh and clever that they lose their energy in the process.
That's what stands out the most in Staraya Derevnya's soon to be released new album "From inside the log" - the energy! I can feel it pouring out of the speakers. It's as if all the music is spontaneously being created and each part is somehow being poured out of each of the musicians' heads while they observe in fascination.
Another pattern I see spread around various experimental albums is their inability to keep cohesion. As if incohesion  and scatter-brained sound splatter was the right to being weird and all avant-garde like.
"From Inside The Log" keeps a stable atmosphere lingering throughout the whole album.
A strange psychedelic campground filled with ethnically diverse acoustic instruments against open form and folk-like storytelling circles.
Bullhorns from treetops echo around the forest in distorted Russian voices as mutant insects dance around a broken rainbow.
This is the sound of the mysteries that occur deep within secret unenchanted forests.
The arrangements are tight and the instruments well played.

This music puts a spell on me.
It gives me energy even at it's darkest moments.
Where ever such power comes from - it's a missing element in so much of what gets passed around as abnormal and unconventional music.

Further discussion of this artist and album can be found here:


Get the album for free here:



KinkZoid - Debacleclypse

Artist: KinkZoid
Album: Debacleclypse
Tags: Outsider, Progressive, Experimental, Avant, Neoclassical, LoFi, Collage,
WTF Qualities: Heavily effected vocals, strange transitions, variety of styles, lack of styles, mutation of styles
Year: 2009
Country: USA, Chicago
Link: http://kinkzoid.com/

Lack of expectations is a good place to start.  I had a feeling KinkZoid was going to be strange, just from the name and the title of the album.  So you can be assured of that, this is pretty fucked up music, but what are its special wtf qualities, and why should we care?

KinkZoid is like one of those animal fossils found in the bottom of a lake that the paleontologists can't really explain and baffles the biologists whose job it is to classify it and put it into its proper place in the evolutionary tree.  Perhaps a creature which was already living on the fringes of extinction and obscurity had a horrible mutation which fused its DNA with another totally unrelated species.  Then it flew into a cave and recorded some music with deformed electronically processed vocals.

Surprisingly, there is a very standard blues song on the album, which, despite its easy to recognize form and harmony, is a bit off, a bit putrified.  Other aspects which we can classify from the historical comparative perspective would be the use of noise elements, some horns and guitars, keyboard instruments and percussions, as well as rhythms of a steady nature.  There are also elements of ambience, collage, noise, rock music, chillout beats, neoclassicism, found sounds, lofi indie folk, childlike rhymes, psychedelic reverie, and other nonsense.

This music affected me with an overall feeling that something was not right.  The music itself is a bit of a mistake.  Not in a haphazard way, either, but as if the creators were intentionally thinking of confounding the listener by putting sounds together in a way that feels, as I said, just wrong.  Certain sections feel very tightly controlled, and the music never really loses control the way some free music does.  Even some parts are really pretty and brightly atmospheric.  The question is not "Is the driver in control?" but "where is he taking us and why?"

By the way, the wrongness of this music is what makes it so special and worth hearing.  Please enjoy, all.

You can purchase KinkZoid music from their website, sorry no free downloads, but some of their music is here at wtfm and more can be heard at myspace: http://www.myspace.com/kinkzoid