Second Square To None

Papercut - Untitled (EDIT) by sstn noise

Coming from a band backround this week's Noise Series features zombie movie and high volume level aficionado Gary Morrison, a.k.a. Papercut, who gives us this interview:

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how you arrived at this style?

I'm not entirely sure what my motives are other than trying to recreate the noises I constantly hear in my head. I've been playing in bands since I was a teenager, starting off in a band that was kind of punky and Pavement-style stuff. Somewhere along the line we discovered Sonic Youth and early Mercury Rev albums. The musical ideas mixed with dissonance and noise was really inspiring to me and totally changed what I considered to be "music". The noise bits soon became my favourite parts and it wasn't long before we started incorporating extended noise jams into our music. Me and the bass player in that band used to always play around with his 4-track recorder. One night we were messing around and ended up recording a noise track by running a heater fan through microphone and a load of guitar pedals. We didn't record anything like that again but the idea of recording just pure sound without melody was something that stuck with me.

Eventually that band fell apart and I ended up playing in a band that is far more quiet but still use noises and stuff in the background. After wanting to do it for ages, one week I set up a load of equipment in my room and just started recording electronic improvisations on to my minidisc recorder. I then mixed and layered these improvs into one long track on my computer. I played it to my good friend Steve Fanagan who runs Slow Loris records and he wanted to put it out. That was the first Papercut release, although bits were a bit more mellow then the stuff I do now. I had intended for the Papercut thing to be a one off but a gig soon followed and since I hadn't thought of a new name I stuck with Papercut. From that, I ended up getting a few more gigs in fairly quick succession at the Lazybird night. By this stage the name had truly stuck, despite my efforts to come up with something else. The more gigs I played the more noisier they got.

Community Skratch Games 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 , 0 comments

Quality entertainment in Galway this week with a weekend of entertainment courtesy of Community Skratch Games. Opening night kicks off with SSTN favourites Ventolyn & Becotyde and Jimmy  the Penguin, aswell as Square Waves host Fyodor, "showcasing the myriad applications of modern turntable composition and improvisation".

Full details of all the weekends events, including more gigs and workshops, here.
  Square Waves 10: AmbientDroneBlissMusic part 1... by SquareWaves

Fyodor does it again, sublime selection. Full tracklist and info here.

Null/Void - The Funeral Party by sstn noise

Some processed and modified guitar music for you this week courtesy of Null/Void, who also records as Wereju. Here's what he had to say in response to the now standard questions:

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how you arrived at this style?

NV:The only answer I can give is that I have some unexplained urge/need to make music.. I often wonder if it’s a passion or an obsession.. As for how I arrived at this style, I guess it can be traced back to the late 90’s. After years of listening to just metal, I began to have this urge to hear a particular style/sound that I had in my head. At this point I knew nothing about the drone or noise scenes. So I’d read reviews of stuff and some of the descriptions would sound like what I was looking for, so I started listening to jazz, classical and some electronic music. Whilst enjoying all the new music, it still wasn’t that sound I was hearing in my head. At the same time I spent my time at home with my pedals and 4-track just trying to capture a piece of what I was hearing in my mind’s ear. It wasn’t until 2006 that I had finally got close to what I was looking for, eventually I recorded my first Wereju cd. It was only after sending these to different places for review that I started hearing all these names that were new to me, which eventually led me to discover the whole noise and drone scene’s.. Null/Void kinda evolved from the Wereju stuff, where there was still a big drone element, but mixed with samples and found sounds...

What sort of environment it is intended for , and what is the intended effect on listener (if any)?

NV:I don’t really create the stuff for any particular environment. I would have to say that I probably much prefer the home listening experience to the live one though. I have a love/hate relationship with playing live. I do enjoy it, but for me noise/drone is a very personal thing, which comes from somewhere deep inside and also strikes a chord somewhere deep inside. We can try using words and concepts to describe what it is and how it affects us, but I think these can only be abstractions. So holding this view, it doesn’t really sit too well with me when noise artists ‘put on a show’ or to see the audience head banging. At the same time I’m not talking about some sort of new-age ‘state of zen’ bullshit, that we should be meditating or something.. but as I’ve said, for me it’s much more of an internal thing, with different people getting/hearing/feeling different things.. so I much prefer home listening.. As for the intended effect on the listener, that’s not really something I really think about. I create music for myself first and foremost, and probably the most important element for me is a sense of atmosphere.. So if afterwards other people enjoy what I’ve created then that’s always a bonus, but it doesn’t figure in the actual creation of my stuff.

What sort of equipment you use (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear, circuit bent stuff etc.) do you use to make your sounds?

NV: My first few recordings were made using feedback loops, pedals and a 4-track plugged back into each other. Then I was offered a chance to play live and wanted to have something a little more ‘hands on’. So after some experimenting and a bit of thinking I ended up modifying an old guitar I had, taking out two of the pick-up’s and replacing them with audio inputs. So now I can play note’s as on a normal guitar, but also I can hook up a circuit bent radio (or whatever I wish) and I also have the option to feed the guitar signal back into itself creating feedback loops. The pick-up selector now acts as a little mixer and the tone knobs do funny things that I still haven’t figured out yet. All this is sent from the guitar through a bunch of pedals, some of which I’ve bent, some I haven’t.
If I’m recording I’ll use that set-up but I’ll also add in other stuff (found sounds, field recordings…)

Any memorable noise-related incidents/ interesting gig anecdotes?

NV: I guess the one that springs to mind is a gig I played as Wereju in Enniskillen in 2008. Also on the bill was Bipolar Joe and Gen 26.. It was the first gig we’d played up there (at Oaks Studios, which is very much in the middle of nowhere). Most of the people there had no previous experience of drone or noise, they were mainly just friends of friends who came out to see what was going on. I remember people being intrigued with Gen 26 and his use of kitchen utensils, and Bipolar Joe’s use of circuit bent toys and a contact mic taped over his heart. Some people really enjoyed it (even though it was quite harsh) I think mainly because the sounds were been made using everyday items. But when it came to my set, they seemed to be baffled because although I was using a guitar, it didn’t really sound like a guitar (or what they expect a guitar to sound like).. so it kinda threw them a little I guess. It really showed me how the visual aspect, and people’s preconceptions, can really colour what it is they are hearing.

Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.

NV: My next Null/Void gig is May 29th at Defibralator Festival in Antonin Poland. It’s on over two days with one of the days being a kinda Irish special.. Also playing will be Bipolar Joe, Luxury Mollusc, Phorsey and Gen 26 (although Matjas isn’t technically Irish, but we’ve kinda adopted him although we don’t have any official paperwork for him). Should be a great weekend..

‘the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more’ cdr (Static Acts 2010) split with Nils Helstrom
‘the deep dark nothing’ cdr (Static Acts 2010) split with Luxury Mollusc
‘of prayer and pain’ cdr (2009)
‘all that trouble just to end up dead’ cdr (Static Acts 2009) split with Rj Myato
‘threnody’ cdr (2009)
‘fear is not what you owe me’ cdr (Idrone Park 2009) split with Shores of Darkness
‘the eye of god’ cdr (Idrone Park 2009) split with Animal Machine
‘untitled’ cdr (2008)
‘zero’ cdr (Electric Requiems 2007)

New AntiVJ Video

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 , 0 comments

AntiVJ - MUTEK 2009 from AntiVJ / Joanie on Vimeo.

Not quite as satisfying as some of their other stuff but still pretty amazin.

Mix for Stasis Records featuring Shackleton, Floating Points, Monolake etc. Tracklist here

Luxury Mollusc - The Oblong Shell by sstn noise

This week we have seagull sample destroyer Luxury Mollusc in the virtual interview chair: take it away Stu!

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how did you arrive at this style?

LM: For Luxury Mollusc (as apposed to other projects) a desire to announce my 'self' was the only reason/motive. I think that the only REASON for any SOLO project; whether that's a flaccid singer/songwriters' croonings on a stool or a Shakespearean soliloquy performed on a lonely stage, they're the expression of a lone individual. For me, there is no difference between these fore-mentioned actions and the wail of a baby crying, the message is different but the reason the same. In terms of the reason and significance of solo performances (in my case) the message (ambivalent) isn't as significant as the alone-ness. The fact that someone might hear (and it thus becomes a message) is secondary to the 'noise' itself. I make noises for my benefit primarily, it's cathartic, it's my Scream (as in Munch), I neither hope nor expect anyone else to 'get it'. I began releasing material to others when I realised if someone liked it and put me on the bill at a gig I could see the gig for free. Awesome! I've had the good fortune to play at some of my favourite gigs.
As to how I arrived at this style; it has been an organic voyage I assure you.
Feedback can be a mystical experience, and natural reverb gives me a semi. I'm also obsessed with Moby-Dick, doubt as a lifestyle choice, and Freud.
What sort of environment it is intended for/what are the intended effects on the listener?
LM: I try to excrete noises that emphasise presence and absence (volume plays a role in this as much in mixing as in live, and as much in absence as in presence), and reflects something of the listeners own hollowness (the occupied skull as a persistently hollow bone). It is the perceived echo of the listeners own emptiness. An evoking and invoking of a dull, grueling and prolonged castration. Mine in particular. The only intended environment is that of the listeners awareness of their own mortality (you know you'll die, admit it), and alienation as a subjective witness to their perceived senses. An environment of lacking and lost things. Every 'one' knows the environment of loss all too well.
Transmission of this is probably best received in either (a) live environment that is of either sufficient volume or intimacy as to render conversation mute/void, or (b) on headphones which physically sever the witness from outside aural influence (to some extent at least).
Having said that if someone lashes something I made on a stereo and spends a few minutes staring at an ashtray before realizing the track has changed the intended environment has been achieved.
If the listener likes it or hates it doesn't matter to me, rather the act of forming an opinion as an exercise of ones' subjectivity is what's important.Listening is always a subjective experience: the particularities of vibrations upon the inner ear and their interpretation in the mind are always unique (Ever tried to explain why one noise track is awesome and another is shite?). Simply by hating it you have engaged with the material, assessed it and dismissed it, and that's enough for me.
With the emphasis of intent on a subject-to-subject engagement the act of listening itself becomes a solo project. I was alone making it and you are alone hearing it. That is the intended effect on the listener. Loving/Loathing is irrelevant.
What sort of equipment you use (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear, circuit bent stuff etc.) do you use to make your sounds?
LM: I'm in lust with a borrowed Alesis Microverb right now (thanks Dave; respect to the delay-pimp), and as always my Kaosspad. The input is mostly contact mics and samples, distorted free-associations, and random scrap/instruments. I've got lots of respect for circuit-benders but I just suck at it, I can make mics and simple toys: which I enjoy, but when trying to render some circuits 'bent' I usually end up rendering fingers burnt. For the purposes of this project though I think it's important to explore the limits of the gear I possess rather than customizing them, it's all about accepting and despairing/rejoicing/testing limitations (death being the archetype) rather than attempting to manipulate and distort them (it). Reality is limiting, distorting and harsh, I can only get so much gain out of my Ubermetal, batteries will only last this long, I can only squeeze so much joy out of this life, I feel no need to reject this, rather I accept and reflect it.
Any interesting noise-related anecdotes?
LM: When upon opening the above mentioned donated Alesis Microverb - to investigate a noise-related-tech-fail, a horde of dust mites erupted, huge motherfuckers, they had shorted it out (flashbacks to the movie Pi).
When I was playing/attending (therefore free!) a gig in a meat truck and a drunk Pole turned the freezer on; Grim and Frostbitten noise!
When witnessing a performance by Bipolar Joe in a gaff-gig. While he climaxed he hurled a plate of 69 cocktail sausages, which he had been squatting on during his set as some sort of social commentary, at my (long suffering) girlfriend.
And of course getting to play support for Costes with Over, that guy blew my mind.
Oh and when the above mentioned gig in a gaff in a Galway was momentarily halted by an irate neighbour: letting himself in, pushing and posturing his way through the crowd, smoking in the house, and confronting Phoresy DURING his intense home-set. The ignorance. Short interval with the intervention of Polish-muscle and the Phoresying resumed. NOISE!
Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.
LM: For gigs you should check
As for releases;
Skafold ov Bone (Husk Records (!))(Irish version sold out, few American versions left)
No one ever drowned without first having their face washed (split 7" with The Salty Duke)(just got more in!)
D'eist the fiend part II; ceremonial skinning of celtic tigers (Idrone Park)(few left)
A Discourse with Decay (self released as necessary)
Wheeze (self released as necessary)
Scrimshaw and Castration (split with Null/Void)(static acts)(new)

Eoin Smith - Glow by sstn noise

The Noise Series this week features turntablist Eoin Smith (who also records as Taper Jinx) demonstrating his minimal ambient approach to deck manipulation. Eoin answered the following questions:

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how you arrived at this style?

ES: My motivations for making such music is purely because of my interest in sound and the processes which goes into making such sonic art. In one respect it comes from the numerous computer programs I have worked with and accumulated over the years, from more coding based systems to your typical DAW setup. I find it interesting how such systems interact with each-other and the sonorities which evolve from fusing such programs. At the minute my main interest is incorporating turntable technology into the realm of sonic art in both composition and performance. Incorporating a turntable into a computer based system, the turntable becomes accessible as a controller and interactive middle ground for the user

What sort of environment it is intended for/what are the intended effects on the listener?

ES: For this piece in particular, I wanted to immerse the listener in sound. The piece itself is similar to a storm as it is intense, relentless and heaving. In order to fully achieve this, I suppose, the preferred setting would be through good monitors, where every sound can be appreciated. However I think the interesting thing about sonic art is that different or “not ideal” settings can also impose there own characteristics and nuances on a piece. Listening to this piece while on a train at night could introduce an appropriate visual representation of the piece so deviating from ideal listening settings can give the piece a whole new direction and a different meaning to each listener, so although there is an ideal setting, it is not essential.

What sort of equipment you use (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear, circuit bent stuff etc.) do you use to make your sounds?

ES: My main set-up is similar to what I use to make more sampled based, breakbeat stuff, which I like: having one system which can be moulded and adapted to the sound you want to make. It consists of a laptop, turntable, mixer and drum-machine/sampler/sequencer. For this particular piece I also used an old effects rack I got a few years ago for some reverb. Usually any sketches or pieces would start with the sample material, whether it be from vinyl or field recordings, if I like the sound of something I will put it through some self made instruments on the computer or bring it into my hardware sampler then decide which works best. I really like the sound from my hardware sampler, it is quite muffled and lo-fi which can really bring alot of warmth to a piece in comparison to some computer programs. This piece came together quite quickly, it started as an experiment with simple filtering and effects using a rack reverb, turntable and mixer. A simple enough set-up but one which can be used to create engaging and interesting sonorities as is evident from the work of turntablists such Janek Schaefer or Philip Jeck.

Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.

ES: Currently looking for gigs so if anyone has any they can contact me through my myspace which is


Features the likes of Phoenecia, Ancient Methods and Clark, aswell as some great Irish tracks. Tracklist here.
Fresh off the presses, this is Ed's liveset from his album launch on Saturday in Kennedy's. Featuring heavy dance floor tunes combining twisted beats with warped textures generated from his custom-built zither, this set perfectly encapsulates that brain-melting quality that Ed specialises in that makes you want to dance yourself to bits aswell as listen to the intricacies of the music. (Photo by Melissa.)

His debut long player 'Molten Membrane' is available in Spin Dizzy this week, with announcements to follow about outside of Dublin availability.

This is my new liveset, or at least one version of it. As always rough in places, both stylistically and in terms of musicianship. Ahem.
The point of making a liveset is to play it really loud on a big sound gimme gigs!
1. Arcane (Molten Membrane, Mantrap)
2. Paths (possibly forthcoming on Second Square to None / SSTN)
3. Squib (possibly forthcoming on Second Square to None / SSTN)

4. Brain Your Melt (version) (Molten Membrane)
5. Chalktown Bounce Collision (currently homeless)
6. Get My Way (version) (in another form on Molten Membrane)
7. Playtime (forthcoming on !kaboogie)
8. Frozen Backpackers (Trapdoor Material 2, Mantrap)
9. Doomtime (Molten Membrane)
10. Future (forthcoming on Takeover)
11. 2C-me (forthcoming on Takeover)
12. Stand Clear (currently homeless)
13. Brain Your Melt (another version)(Molten Membrane)

     Square Waves 8  by  SquareWaves

Full tracklist and info here. Full-on noise special, very tasty.

     Square Waves 7  by  SquareWaves

Full tracklist and info here. Pretty esoteric show here, free jazz and the like, very interesting stuff.

Magentize - Mytalio by sstn noise

In the second part of the SSTN Noise Series we have Magnetize, well known for his electro and techno productions for labels such as Mantrap, Trensmat, as well as the dronier material found here (found on Rimbauld Records ). The ferocity of Magnetize's live sound made many people leave the room when he played for us at an early Joy Gallery SSTN event, but those who stayed gained from their pain as delicious washes of distortion and modulating drones filled every nook and cranny of the space.

What are your reasons / motives for making music, and how you arrived at this style?

M: To be honest i never really thought about why i make music. i guess it has something to do with the full enjoyment of life depending upon creative activity. and as im hopeless at art / writing, music by default is my outlet. i started messing around with guitars in my teens but never really was bothered with learning zep solos, so through a combination of my own ineptitude and exposure and love of 'minimal' music - such as coil, suicide, stooges, la monte young, sonic youth, eno, monoton, etc.. - i grew a preference for texture/tone/dissonance/atonality.

What sort of environment it is intended for (home listening, really loud in a meat lorry, or whatever!) / intended effect on listener?

M: As loud as possible! groove...

What sort of equipment you use (e.g. computer, hardware, home made gear, circuit bent stuff etc.) do you use to make your sounds?

M: Yamaha DX-27, Jomox Sunsyn, Waldorf Microwave1, DSI Evolver, Jomox Xbase999, P3 Sequencer, Mutronics Mutator, Moog MF101, Frostwave Resonator, Boss RE-20, Lexicon LX1, Zoom 1204, FMR RNC, Mackie VLZ 1202 x 2

Typically sequences are created on the P3 to trigger the synths & everything is routed through four patchbays where the synths/fx/filters can be fed into each other in many different ways for maximum mangle potential. i usually just use the computer as a stereo recorder (through an apogee mini-me) and 'jam' for an amount of time on the sequence created (could be hours). this audio, if useable, is then edited down to make a track.

Any memorable noise-related incidents/ interesting gig anecdotes?

M: Noise is serious beardy-stroking business.

Info on upcoming gigs, preferred web address, releases etc.

M: At the moment im working on a remix for 'the last sound' which will be coming out on nute records ( also working on new 'whirling hall of knives' material which hopefully should see the light of day sometime soon too.

You can hear a liveset Magnetize played for Second Square to None last year here.

Ed Devane album launch

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 0 comments

Ed's album launch is on this Saturday, should be a deadly night of tunes with Ed backed up by top notch acts such as Kachanski (live), Eomac, Noid the Droid and Thatboytim. Free CD with admission. Info below from promoters Earwiggle.
Following the mentalism of Forshaw, Mustard Gunn and Redmonk, next up we’re returning to The Underground @ Kennedy’s for more of the same. It marks the launch of Ed Devane’s debut album ‘Molten Membrane’, which we’re really charged up about! Ed is a supreme talent, and has appeared on a plethora of edgy bass-enthused labels like Touchin’ Bass, Spacebar Sentiments, !Kaboogie and Mantrap Recordings – the latter being home to this, his debut longplayer.
Joining Ed on stage for parts of his set will be Scurvy Lass, who has contributed to three of the tracks on the album, providing some of its most memorable moments. Also phattening up the lineup are Kachanski (live), Thatboytim, Eomac and Noid The Droid. Doors are at 10.30pm, admission is €10, and we’re also throwing in a free copy of the cd album (a month in advance of its full release!) for your troubles.