With An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music, Volume 6, curator Guy Marc Hinant continues his review of this and last century’s hard stuff. He continues his formula—a word that I’m sure would make him bristle—of assembling current artists, influential old-timers, and poppier practitioners. In previous editions, the middle category has included Morton Subotnick, Edgard Varèse, Vladimir Ussachevsky, and Otto Luening; and the latter, Sonic Youth, Autechre, and Faust.
In Volume 6, the poppiest artist is Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))). His Dolmens & Lighthouses features a minimal melody buoyed in sub-bass rumble, which adds an expansive tension. In the old-timers’ club is Dick Raaymakers and Henry Cowell. The Banshee (1925), Cowell’s iconic piano piece performed entirely inside the piano and on the piano frame, reminds us that noise isn’t a new idea. Contemporary artists include Julie Rousse, whose Flesh Barbie Techno Fuck isn’t as much fun as it sounds, although its noise achieves a blistering, galloping rhythm.
Occasionally, in previous instalments of the series, Hinant dallied on a particular genre or subgenre. In this volume, Japanese noise, or Japanoise, receives some non-comprehensive attention, with Pain Jerk, Hijokaidan, and Incapacitants—and with Torturing Nurse and Sachiko M included as travellers in related sonic realms. (What? No Boredoms?) The most punishing track has to be Hijokaidan’s previously unreleased studio outtake: totally brutal. There’s no doubt, humour, or play in this aural bombing, but it’s akin to two jocks slugging each other in the arm . . . for jokes.

The joy of an anthology, often, isn’t listening to what’s included, but enumerating what has been left out. (Really? No Boredoms?) However, this volume marks the penultimate entry into the series. Bets for Volume 7? Well, La Monte Young hasn’t appeared yet. Neither has Vittorio Gelmetti, Max Mathews, nor Fennesz. And it would be great to see something from Canada’s vast electroacoustic and electronic communities. Or maybe there should be a Volume 8?