Shit-Fi Radio Volume 2: Third-wave Japanese Noise-core
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1. Extreme Noise Terror and K.L.F. “3 A.M. Eternal” (from 7"; Relapse)
2. Exit-Hippies “3 A M Club Night” (from split 7" with Tantrum; Distort)
3. Death Dust Extractor titles not listed (from 12"; New Smell)
4. Stagnation titles not listed (from “Destruction” 7"; Whisper in Darkness)
5. Deconstruction “Alternate Society” (from demo cass.; self)
6. Total Noise Accord “Continuation ~ Never Rot ~ Where Are We Going?” (from 7"; Crust War)
7. Exit-Hippies “Alcohol Life ~ Dodder” (from “Record and Fantasy” 7"; Bong)
8. Toxic Sex titles not listed (from demo cass.; self)
9. Toxik Trash “Many Kat ~ Cruelly” (from split 7" with Heavy Water; Teenage Scrap Sounds)
10. Exit-Hoppers “100% Pure” (from split 8" with Joy; We Suck)
11. Caravana Anarquista “Poverty, Exploitation, and Apathy” (from split 7" with ADA; self)
12. Aostrapos “Rusty Feeler” (from split 12" with Exit-Hippies; Depression)
13. Filth Militia titles not listed (from demo CD-R; self)
15. Struggle for Pride “Summer Never Ends” (from split 7" with Abraham Cross; Paank Levyt).
Third-wave Japanese crust/noise-core began to evolve around 2002. If Confuse exemplified the first wave and Gloom the second, Exit-Hippies define the third. But I’m using the rubric “third-wave” because not all these bands sound like Exit-Hippies. In general, the third wave is characterized by incorporation of somewhat diverse influences with the usual-suspect crust influences. Thus, Abraham Cross combine Doom with Krautrock; Exit-Hippies, Sore Throat with 80s acid house; Death Dust Extractor, Shitlickers with Black Sabbath. The cumulative effect is one of ear-shattering noise, unpredictable song structures, and psychedelic sensations. To a degree, I feel these effects also resulted from the direction in which Confuse was headed by their “Stupid Life” 12". Anyway, there are no rigid boundaries between the waves of Japanese noise-core, which overlap temporally, and even the Tokyo-centric nature of the third wave’s initial explosion is now diminished. My own hypothesis on the emergence of the form is that Japanese crusties had basically exhausted to possibilities inherent in the second-wave form by perfecting it. Gloom, Deceiving Society, and even Atrocious Madness (from the US) put out 12" records that pushed the limits set up by Disorder, Chaos UK, Confuse, and Gai. These crowning achievements are among the finest hardcore records of the late 90s/early 00s, and, based as that form of noise-core was on a balance of imitation and newness, it was impossible to continue in the direction these bands were headed while maintaining that balance. So other bands took it upon themselves to change course. I hope this radio show documents that course with some generosity. It’s been exciting to watch (and hear) it develop over the past few years. Punks’ seeming polarization over the third wave of Japanese noise-core may indicate that it is quintessentially punk. It’s worth noting that many of these records are split releases, indicating the cooperative nature, the punk ideals embodied by the third wave. Also, like the original hardcore bands, before the codification(s) of the style occurred, these bands take influences from outside hardcore punk. From the shit-fi perspective, the sheer exuberance on display with a band like Exit-Hippies, who don’t seem to have bothered to learn how to play anything other than rudimentary hardcore and rudimentary techno, is inseparable from their originality in combining the forms. Not that I think noise-core should or could become popular, but I think the inventiveness of these bands could have broad-based appeal. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. Luckily, nearly all these records are so hard to find, it’s unlikely we’ll see Death Dust Extractor in the pages of Spin any time soon.