There will be one more volume in this most essential of series, and then the collectors and critics can get to work assessing the total impact of these rare and historic tracks. “An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music Volume 6” continues Sub Rosa’s valiant attempt to put the history of noise in context, to show examples of its diverse reach into electronic music, modern composition, minimalism and more rigid styles like industrial and metal. This two-disc set also comes with a generous booklet featuring a trove of biographical and historical info.
As you might expect, Asia is well represented, with Hijokaidan, Tetsuo Furudate and Incapacitants from Japan, and China’s Torturing Nurse among the highlights. Older Western artists like essential pioneers Henry Cowell and Dick Raaymakers fit in nicely with relatively recent artists like Z’ev, John Weise and Daniel Menche.
The well-known do not always provide the best pieces, however. 1983’s “Ego Masher” from Joseph Nechvatal, John Duncan’s “The Nasca Transmissions #2” (2005) and “How to Practice Scales,” a 2000 piece from Ultraphonist are the equal of any on this set.
From harsh noise to silence-breaking pulses, from drone to works of chance, “An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music Volume 6” reminds of the breadth and, most importantly, the accessibility of experimental music. The music on these two discs is challenging, and maybe maddening. But an open ear will find much to ponder and learn from. 8/10 -- Mike Wood (4 August, 2010)