In an extremely generalized sense, music is just sound waves that, when combined with other similar or different sound waves, make us feel emotions. Regardless of where you come from or what language you speak, music produces (roughly) the same impressions from listener to listener. How you perceive these emotions or decide if you enjoy them is entirely up to you. There is no right or wrong when it comes to music taste.
Noise music is a whole fascinating monstrosity that most people are either quick to dismiss or don’t understand. I’m using the term “noise music” as an umbrella for the noise genre. Much how the term “indie” is extremely vague and none descriptive. Genres like noise rock would involve more conventional structure, instrumentation, melody/harmony, etc. In some ways, noise music is just that, noise; however, it can also be thoughtful, graceful, or guttural. I see noise music as more of a meditative ceremony for the performer – or even an escape from whatever may be aggravating them, much like early punk rock was a rebellion or attitude.
Coach Campa, Influencer, Flowers, and James Cameron Taylor are all seasoned veterans within the San Antonio music scene. With members from bands such as Ghost Police, Porridge Fist, Pinko, and Blithe there was definitely no shortage of volume and noise. Unfortunately, I arrived right after Cameron Taylor finished his set. I caught a glimpse at his setlist, which looked like a crude drawing of different bananas and numbers. Having witnessed Pygmaeus, one of his delightfully absurd former bands, I’m sure that his set was definitely out of the ordinary.
Jared Flores of Flowers set the tone of his set by facing away from the audience. His guitar lying on the ground vibrating from the eBow causing heavily distorted volume swells and delayed frequencies. After being surrounded by the textures, silence started to feel unwelcome. It can be difficult to present new motifs or sounds pallets when playing noise music, but Jared was able to shift moods and textures leaving me to believe that if there were a prehistoric giant bee, this is what it sounded like.
Influencer, a younger group composed of guitarist, Aaron Arguello and drummer/synth player, Jacob Gonzales, created doomy drone textures that somehow felt delicate and tender between Gonzales’ erratic drumming and beefy bass synth lines. Playing out of a legendary Roland JC-120 and using different methods, Arguello’s guitar tones cannot go unacknowledged. The articulation of “a” notes sounded as if he was dragging a brass chain across the tin roof of an old building. These sounds evolved into a heavy, warm, and full fuzz tone sustain.
Composed of drummer and blast beat specialist, Ethan Campa and guitarist/razor blader, Andres Sanchez, Coach Campa demonstrated patience and aggression during their set. Normally full of composure and control, Campa wildly used cymbals as drumsticks, having broken most of them. All the while, Sanchez manipulated his guitar tone into warbling scrambled drones. At times during the set he switched from guitar to a mysterious handheld noisemaker. It produced an oscillating sound that increased in volume when shaken or struck with a razor blade.
If you missed this show, you missed a unique experience that can’t be created exactly the same again. Fortunately, I sense more of these types of shows from other local musicians in the near future. Follow your heart and support local music.
Written by Josh Borchardt
Photo by Laryssa Flores