I really connected with what I read on the Bandcamp page from The Other Noise’s eponymous album The Other Noise. The artist basically states the album is about memory. I liked the next part where the artist mentions, “…This album is about those things. At least, it is for me. Given that it is almost entirely instrumental, for the listener it could be about anything really.” That’s absolutely correct. In fact I don’t like reading what an album is about until I spend enough time with it where I can interpret it in my own way. That’s one of the most beautiful things about art.
This album did feel connected to memory but not always in the most pleasant way but I’m not saying that pejoratively. I’ve recently been listening to an artist called The Caretaker whose entire catalog seems to deal with memory and in particular dementia. It’s some of the most dark and haunting music I’ve heard and I highly recommend it. I noticed similarities in their music but The Other Noise seems more psychedelic and playful in some ways and The Caretaker feels darker and tension filled.
The Other Noise contains a good amount of variety. I would consider this an ambient album that likes to play around with beats. Throughout the album I felt like I was taking a tour of the brain and the various regions that associate with memory on a cellular level. There are some sort of predictable moves like reverb laced vocals which point to the echo of a memory but some moves which are unique and subtle.
Some of the tracks do feel more musical than others and I felt like he strategically placed these moments. You get some flirtations with jazz, electronic music and more but nothing sticks for too long and this could be a genius move. The answer obviously being that memory doesn't stick and is not static. It fades, changes and even resurrects. The songs for the most part do this seamlessly where you're not exactly sure where one thing begins and another one ends.
I’ve already mentioned The Caretaker but I think artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never and Tim Hecker are appropriate comparisons as well. This album is one that benefits from listening to it from beginning to end. There are no flashy singles or memorable hooks but plenty that will immerse you. This is an album that should be absorbed. It’s a slow burn but one I don’t think I will forget anytime soon. Or will I?
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