Noxious Emotion Symbols
By Marcus Pan
I have been getting a lot of CDs lately.
Bands and labels have been very supportive of Legends and theyve been
nearly pouring in thanks to them all. Most of the time the CD will be
something good not great, just good. Occasionally the CD will rival new
levels of badness. But every now and then one comes in that I would have paid
for if I had known of the band before. One worthy of plunking down the dozen or
so dollars to infuse the work into my collection. Needulhed was one of these;
before that was My Scarlet Life. This month, however, the CD that I would have
plunked down the money to happily cart home and annoy my not-quite-goth family
with is Noxious Emotions most recent release, Symbols.
There are three artists that make up NE, Michael Wimer,
Godboy & Fritter, and they have a fairly long history of music making.
Appearances on more than fifteen compilations from such labels as Cleopatra
Records, Doppler Effect and Apocalypse. Theyve toured considerably and
released a number of full length releases including Count Zero and
This Hallowed Ground. Theyll also be touring again in August
(1999) in support of Symbols appearing with Fockewolf throughout
the northern US. Symbols debuted at number 12 on the CMJs RPM chart and
has sat in the top 40 for over 3 months. Not bad for a little-known
they should be much bigger than they are.
Symbols is a wonderful collection of music.
Treading somewhere between 80s synth-pop and Puppy-like computeresque
beat-noise, Noxious Emotion turns out a highly danceable collection of
industrial and electronic sounds. They describe it as
elektro-body-music. The sounds of NE are very computeresque
metallic bass lines, slightly modified vocalizations with a deep, but not
growling, ambience and data-style bits and bleeps. The beats and percussion are
minimal for the most part, but the bass lines add enough movement throughout
the songs to keep things flowing at a rapid and body moving pace. Samples are
well-placed and add to the feel of the songs rather than the usual Hey,
this is getting boring lets throw some silly movie quote
Slagging off usual numbering and tracking conventions,
Noxious Emotion kept to the name of the CD and has their tracks listed by
symbols Grecian it looks, though Im not sure. Tracks to listen to
are the third, called The Unknown, the ninth, Mass and
the last on the album, Indefinate & Unspecified.
The Unknown has a popping, data-stream kind of
sound. Its a highly sexual song complete with seductive lyrics and a
body-pounding drum track. You wanna scratch me, The pleasure swirling in
the pain. Its a story of unbridled lust and passion complete with
music and sounds that seem to fit perfectly with the subject matter. The vocals
are subdued through most of the song excepting the chorus, where they become
lustful and strong a climax, if you will. Take me! Touch me! Pull
me! Fuck me! Aww yeah.
Track #9, The Mass, takes an environmental theme
and applies a scratching, subliminal sound. Routinely under global
change, Sinking is accumulative, they say. The song is about, as you can
probably tell, the theory of global warming. The main reason why I enjoy this
track so much is at about a minute and a half into it a wonderful synth melody
begins that sounds something like a bagpipe. Its pleasant strange,
I know, for a song that speaks of death to the world via floods. But they have
a soothing effect waiting for the waters to rise and take us along to
someplace where we wont have to worry about it anymore. Not so much
neglect as acceptance the theres nothing we can do, come
swimming with me acceptance. Surreal in a way. The vocals growl their
story behind them, speaking of the doom many environmental theorists would have
you believe. Too far along to prevent, Slowed but not quite
The last track of the CD opens with a toy-piano sound. The
synthesizers that float behind it are Enigma-like. But the lyrics of the song
are dark and moody by the end theyve given up. From I think
I hate what you are, to I think I love what you are at the
end of the song. The synth slides along, taking you with it. The vocals are
awesome the perfect tone, resonance and darkness speaks Still I
ask why are you shouting at me, Stop shouting at me! Noxious Emotion,
like the last track I discussed, has once again through their lyrics and sounds
taken a darker subject and applied electronic finesse to it to make it
beautiful. And thats what were about, isnt it? Seeing beauty
in the things most people would shun?
I applaud their efforts. Noxious Emotion have taken two of
the strongest forces in my life and packaged them together, bound with
brilliance and buff-shined with darkness. Being a geek at heart, I love
computers and all their technological uses NEs music is reflective
of this through their mastery of computeresque sounds. If data streams had a
sound, this would be it. I also love to dance I just cant pull up
the pretentious-stand-at-the-bar façade no matter where I go. And NE
have taken this sound of data and put it to a drum and percussion line that not
only requests, but requires dancing.
Come and dance with the data
Mail: ADSR Musicwerks, 1106 E. Republican, Seattle, WA, 98102
Click to Buy!