The New Blockaders
"The New Blockaders were one of the UK 's most consistently defiant and formally hostile experimental groups. Starting with their name, they combined a masked mythology with a militant anti-art/anti-music stance which manifested itself in a series of obliterating aural documents. For all their lack of any public profile, TNB have had an absurdly disproportionate influence over the development of noise music. " The Wire
Description taken from an excerpt from an article published in ‘Greenwich Village’ magazine:
‘’We are The New Blockaders. Blockade is resistance. It is our duty to blockade and induce others to Blockade. Anti-books, anti-art, anti-music, anti-clubs, anti-communications. We will make anti-statements about anything and everything. We will make a point of being pointless.’
So read the 1982 manifesto of TNB. A group who, more than any other, define the essence of true Noise music both in art and in act. Their influence on the current crop of popular crossover Noise artists such as Prurient and Wolf Eyes is immeasurable. Emerging at the beginning of the 1980’s alongside the Industrial grind of Throbbing Gristle and the harsh, abrasive Power Electronics of Whitehouse, TNB stood out through a purity of vision. Their first record, 1982’s Changez Les Blockeurs, is noise in it’s most rudimentary form: metallic grating sounds and analogue feedback redefined what could be classified as music. Its abstract form and Dadaist construction challenged all that had appeared before. It’s anti-music approach presented a recording closer to the theory-driven work of Einsturzende Neubauten than their supposed contemporaries.They would appear rarely and when they did it would be in anonymity. The records would emerge even more infrequently with little information and in tiny runs. Collaborations in recent years with artists such as Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and the enigmatic Japanese musician Merzbow have bough their anti-sound to a younger and diverse audience. They made a rare live appearance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in December. It was one of the most incredible half hours of my life.’
Luigi Russolo is widely credited as being the first major noise theorist with his 1913 Art Of Noises manifesto. And, of course, composers like Arnold Schoenberg, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen played their part in breaking with classically established harmonic systems. Lou Reed's epochal Metal Machine Music signposted a way of breaking free of the impasse created by the endgames of the mid-20th. century avant garde.But contemporary Noise artists like The New Blockaders were the first to progress from the use of noise as assault on tonality to the development of a rich, complex language capable of subtleties of shade and nuance without sacrificing any of its feral power or ability to unlock repressed personae in the listener. Starting with their name, they combined a masked mythology with a militant anti-art/anti-music stance. Their stance manifested itself in a series of obliterating aural documents and a string of 'live offensives' that did violence to feeble concepts of musicianship and technique. They produced a barrage of pure noise that had only a very abstract connection to music: Masses of piled, scraping metals, multi-level drones and tense, swirling tape-loops fused into a symphony of massive noise. This was the very definition of nihilism through sound, proving that Noise music is in the domain of abstract art (though it may be an irony that although advocating anti-art they created superb abstract art in musical form). The metal-bashing of K2, the awkwardness of Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, the density of Macronympha and the abrasiveness of Merzbow all owe something to the anti-music of TNB. They can truly be credited as pioneers of Noise music as we know it today.
VOD 6: N
"First Live Performance"