Black Stabbath ‎– Black Stabbath - Volume 1

ArchiveFist ‎– 001
CDr, Album, Limited Edition



Black-on-black CDR in a numbered edition of 200, packaged with release-specific sticker and pin.


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July 9, 2009
Black Stabbath is the product of one man, and not so much music as it is an attempt to just generate interesting, deliberately-non-musical noise, it’s actually a lot of fun. “Why would anyone want to just make noise,” you ask? Well, why not? As the artist himself states on another website,

>>>I understand that most people have no direct experience with out-and-out noise, at least presented in a context usually reserved for traditional musical performance. That’s because most people, if not happy or well-adjusted, are too busy with rewarding careers and hobbies, perhaps spending time with friends and family, to notice this crap even exists. And even if they’re unlucky enough to run across it, they don’t pursue it or anything — no, the reasonable response to encountering noise is to shrug and go off and spend your free time doing things that are relaxing and pleasant.

But an audience for noise does exist, as well as what might be a surprising number of prolific performers and artists who make the stuff. People go to noise concerts, buy noise CDs and records. Nobody in their right mind ever need be able to make these distinctions, but noise actually varies pretty widely in texture, dynamics, volume and overall presentation. Much like with veganism, aficionados chiefly value it for the opportunity it gives to one-up fellow nerds with useless, arcane knowledge and the dedicated pursuit of unpleasantness. Frequently, though, noise enthusiasts pretend otherwise, making up a bunch of theoretical arty hoo-hah to smokescreen the fact their devotion is more a symptom of emotional problems than reflective of a refined aesthetic sensibility or highly developed intellectual capacity.

I have to admit, though, that I personally love me some noise. When I was a kid, I’d hold up my heavy, black Panasonic cassette tape player to the tinny speaker of my small black-and-white TV during Godzilla movies and record the sounds of destruction and mayhem. I’d lie on my bed for hours, eyes glazed over in happiness, playing back the tapes and listening to the explosions and shrieks and roars. As an adult, the occasional noise concert serves as an amusing novelty, and, in private, some of that stuff can be useful to effect a kind of instant satori, deployed to override the mental circuits and scour the forebrain of thought-based clutter — a refreshing, controlled way to blast that pesky ego for a few minutes without the need for all that terrible Buddhism.<<<

I totally understand what he’s going for, and it makes a certain kind of sense. We’ve all been there, overloaded by life, bordering on psychic ennui, and then we unwisely turn on the radio and find ourselves pushed past the brink by Dexy’s Midnight Runners (A band I hear more of now than I ever did when their one hit was ostensibly popular. I hate nostalgia. Nostalgia is a lie. Nostalgia is a club to bludgeon you with.), and you just kind of snap and need anything to break you out of the cycle of rumination and overload. In psychological terms, this is co-regulation, but in more workaday terminology it’s called distraction. It’s a palate-cleanser, something to deliberately make your brain jump the tracks. It definitely ain’t music, but it’s the ipecac you go for when too much music, too much contrivance, too much twaddle has made you sick.

The fact of the matter is that I like it. It’s not the kind of thing I’d listen to over and over, but it sets out to deliberately save you from overload by overloading you, and it pretty much succeeds. It’s interesting, too, in the same way a Rorschach blot is interesting - you’re looking in to a picture that is deliberately irresolvable, so what you see in there is ultimately going to tell you more about yourself than it will the artist. Some of the shorter tracks are probably gonna’ end up on my next mix CD.

I recommend this, but I’m fully aware that most peoplewon’t like it, and many will be frankly irritateed by it, so I solidly recommend it with the very stringent caveat that this is *not* music, this is an experimental soundscape project that is really pretty interesting, but intended for a pretty small audience of people. The odds of your average person on the street liking this are pretty small, so it’s probably best to check out the Black Stabbath page on Myspace where you can hear most of the tracks before you plunk down your money. That said, it’s by going beyond the edges of the known world that we learn the shape of the world, and because of that, such experimentation is always worth doing, not because it’s an end in itself, but because it shows us how much more cool crap there is out there to be discovered yet.