>There’s a short documentary knocking about the internet about the making of Public Enemy’s astonishing It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. In it, one of the Bomb Squad production team explains that when recording the album, they wanted to bring the noise to the fore, to disorientate and shock the audience. “The Noise”, he explained, wasn’t just some half hearted hip-hop shout-out to be “Brought”, like the song Bring the Noise might suggest, but was a whole alluring entity to itself: every single noise coming at you all at once. It’s an interesting concept that neatly sums up Public Enemy‘s uncompromising bombast.
The funny thing about noise is that what one person considers beautiful another will find execrable. This almost fully explains the bewildering nature of the enduring popularity of The Kooks, but not quite. Sometimes noise production doesn’t connect on the usual musical level, but in a way that engages another part of the brain. Today’s New Band, Kontakte, make music like this.
Two And A Half Thousand Miles is obscenely spacious, and is probably the music you’d hear if you lay dying in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Ghosts of Electricity drifts by calmly, interrupted now and then by a sinister hiss – punctuating the song with some sort of urgency. The remix, by Electric Loop Orchestra is as good, if not better, picking up the slack and bashing you about the head, phasing frantically and creating a song through a twin enjoyment of melody and mind-warping effects.
Disorientation then re-orientation. Familiarisation, then enforced bewilderment. This isn’t always music, shifting from discernible melody to heaving fuzz with ease. It is, however, definitely worth a listen.