by Lane Yates ’18
I don’t know how to describe the music of Kevin Drumm and Jason Lescalleet either independently or on their shared projects, “The Abyss” and “Night and Day.” I can’t really adequately share my sonic interpretation of the chirps, skips, buzzes, and high pitched tones where noise music lives. I also can’t say I believe in that reading for their type of music. Instead, I’m going to tell a brief story of the first time I listened to each of these artists. I admit this is a bit indulgent, but that’s probably the best I can do.
My first Jason Lescalleet album was “The Pilgrim.” When I listened to this album I was sixteen and I remember being completely alone in my room plugged into my laptop, which was sitting on the floor, while I was laying on my couch. It was late, but I listened to all of it because I couldn’t seem to turn it off even though drone music usually made me sleepy. What I was listening to was somehow hollow and brooding, but at the same time completely genuine and expressive. “The Pilgrim” wasn’t trite. It had a purpose and executed it without any contrivance. I thought that his music was a pure feeling rather than an interpretation of something inside.
This story is less romantic. I started listening to Kevin Drumm last year even though he’s one of the more imminent figures in American noise music. I started with his 1997 self-titled album. I was in the same room as before, but it was incredibly hot. The first track grabbed me due to a nature I can only really describe as fidgety. It’s extremely in and out sonically. It made me uncomfortable. Discomfort is largely associated with this type of music, but this discomfort was more lasting. I’d listened to a lot of noise at this point of my life, and I was used to loud. This was loud, but I never got comfortable with it. Kevin Drumm never let me get complacent with what I was hearing. It’s an entirely different feeling than that expressed in The Pilgrim, but I felt equally attracted. I experienced sonic mystery for the duration of the album and I continue to feel this whenever I listen to Kevin Drumm’s output.
Noise music can transform your feelings in a way that I haven’t experienced in any other genre. Naturally this is just me saying how I feel about my pet genre, but I like to pretend it’s something special. It’s an expression that I can’t find a way to match.
These guys are playing on Wednesday night at 9:30pm in the Horn Gallery.