I’ve searched for a reason to crank out some obscure music for a long time. Luckily there was a spot left on GAOF, so I’m able to nerd out about some of the weirdest, most obscure and disturbing music I know. Since this is a very subjective thing, it’s not about competition, but about the fascination for mind-bending, boundary-pushing art, about your definition of music, the reconsideration of harmony, noise and cacophony. Those eleven picks are just excerpts which I like to highlight here, but I recommend you to dig deep into the winding corners of the internet. You’ll find a galaxy full of extraterrestrial artists with compelling visions.
With no further ado, let’s dive in!
Whitewater Orgasm – Lust Year
This won’t be the last excursion into the exciting world of harsh noise on this list, but I’ll start with it because it was my first encounter with this kind of music. I’ve stumbled upon Whitewater Orgasm many years ago, and it fascinated me from the very beginning. This album is a challenge, but it lets you explore structure and melody if you are willing to look behind the omnipresent noise attack. Created by Finnish producer Lauri Santeri Lohi, Lust Year will always be a very important record for my musical identity, even if I mainly use it to scare people.
Whourkr – 4247 Snare Drums
If you happened to check my review for Igorrr’s Savage Sinusoid earlier this year, you may understand my sympathy towards Gautier Serre. While Igorrr was always his main project, there is another beautiful monster which laid hidden under his other compositions. In 2005, Serre teamed up with Vincent Goubeau aka Mulk to create Whourkr, a scary cybergrind fever dream, stacked with Serre’s signature baroque-meets-breakcore aesthetic. Whourkr is Igorrr grinding on a PCP railing.
The Autopsy Report Of A Drowned Shrimp
Sadly, there is no album from those nice folks, since their music is more composed of live performance art/jams. If you are interested in having one of the weirdest visual and audio experiences of your life, I highly suggest to search for their stuff on Youtube and gettin’ jiggy with it. The Autopsy Report Of A Drowned Shrimp is a collective of musicians from Japan (be honest, this was about time), who create funky ADHD support group happenings, while wearing big neon-coloured shrimp costumes, and it’s fucking amazing.
The Historian Himself – Gather Bones
Brian Engh alias The Historian Himself is a rapper. Sort of. He’s also a paleoartist, and I guess also a shaman. His music is about nature, fossils, forests, life, death, fantasy and science fiction. It’s pretty freaky and very amazing. Listen:
The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud – Amara Tanta Tyri
Maybe not that obscure, but I first encountered that record when my uncle got his hands on a vinyl of it when I was around 14. We’ve checked it (he was already a fan of the band), and I was deeply disturbed. Listening to it now has a special weirdness; it’s a very earthy, folky and hypnotic record. Most of the vocals are ritual chants, and the instruments are simply the support for that. Check it out!
Guilty Connector – Sabbath Connector Sabbath
Ah yes. The comforting, cuddly world of Japanoise. I’ve skipped Merzbow for that and went with something a bit more obscure, so here we are with Guilty Connector, who is another fantastic representative for this interesting scene. The challenge behind this kind of music is to discover the actual songs within the songs, so good luck, and take your time!
White Noise – An Electric Storm
An electronic/sampling album from 1969, which is one of the most trippy, psychedelic and weird records I’ve ever heard. There is an inherent beauty within those tunes, which goes hand in hand the trippy arrangements and the awkward composition. The people behind this masterpiece are Delia Derbyshire, David Vorhaus and Brian Hodgson, and especially Derbyshire is famous for her electronic version of the Doctor Who theme, and for creating the Tardis’ sounds!
He makes noise by pressing his face on glass. Enough said.
Government Alpha – Doze
Our second Japanoise artist. Equally weird as Guilty Connector, but with a finer sense for arrangements.
Pierre Boulez – Sinfonia
One of the most disturbing classical compositions I know. Luciano Berio might be the one who created the most famous recordings of this masterpiece. Pierre Boulez is one of the biggest name in serialism as part of the classical avantgarde, and studied under the great and legendary Olivier Messiaen. Please check this wonderful composition, even if it’s hard. It’s really amazing.
Iran – The Moon Boys
I can’t recreate how I discovered this project. Someday, it popped up on Youtube I guess. I’ve never heard anything similar, or anything which even comes close to the weirdness which is Iran‘s The Moon Boys. Indie, noise, avantgarde, lo-fi, shoegaze, something in between, intriguing lyrics. This record is a journey.
Thanks for scrolling!