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Author Topic: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?  (Read 57550 times)

pentaen

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Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« on: 08 Oct 2007, 12:43 »

What you guys think it is?
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ThinWhiteDuke09

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #1 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:06 »

I'm guessing its something Zappa.  WItth so many albums, I feel like they didn't get as much attention as they deserved and were probably not pressed in large quantities.
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imapiratearg

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #2 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:12 »

I find The Talking Heads a little difficult to get into.
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mberan42

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #3 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:13 »

Beatles - Beatles (the White Album)
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #4 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:20 »

It depends how you define inaccessible, really. Do you mean difficult at first, but then you end up loving it?? Do you mean so experimental and avant garde that you have to change your perception of what music can be before you can appreciate it?? Or maybe you mean an album that you immediately hate and don't get, but eventually come around to??
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imapiratearg

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #5 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:22 »

I think he just means albums that a majority of people find hard to get into.  But I know this would be really hard to find, because everyone has a different taste, and what is accessible to one person is inaccessible to another.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #6 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:22 »

Chinese Democracy.
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Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #7 on: 08 Oct 2007, 13:22 »

I'm gonna have to go with Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica

Same vein as Zappa (same record label too) but it hardly resembles conventional music unlike Zappa who, sometimes, actually sounded like "normal" music.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #8 on: 08 Oct 2007, 14:01 »

While we are on the lunatic fringe, I'm going to talk about an album that few of you have heard, none of you own and even fewer will enjoy. If you really want to hear something challenging try to find a copy of an album called 'The Gap' by Chicago band Joan of Arc. If you find standard rock a bit tedious and long for something a bit progressive in the musical and academic sense of the term or just basically want to test the limit of your tolerance, this is the album for you. It took me roughly one hundred full listens not to despise it, fifty more to appreciate it and fully two hundred to love it.



If you are even faintly offended by grandoir and conceptualism don't even bother flicking through the artwork frankly. If however, you can stomach the idea of a collection of strange, off-kilter compositions of analogue instrumentation and ambient noise digitally re-arranged into extended instrumental passages then you might like this eventually. In terms of context, it is a sort of response to Guy Debord's 'The Society of the Spectacle', which was in turn a sort of reinvention of Marxist Philosophy by a French surrealist reactionary.

To explain a bit about this ridiculously intimidating album, it's possibly best to look at some of the critical response. I have never seen a good review of this album and to be honest I don't see how one could grant it one. Every critique I have found calls the album pretentious and the reviewer is often thoroughly confused with both the music and any potential meanings it might be attempting to convey. This probably has a lot to do with the unconventional nature of the structure. To expand, if you listen to Anti-Flag's album 'Die for the Government' it is immediately obvious what Anti-Flag is trying to get across. Look at a picture of the band and they dress as you would imagine a reactionary punk influenced band would dress. Put on the album and the songs sound like one would expect a punk-influenced band to sound, with vaguely anarchistic polemic and conventional song structure. Can you argue with that? For a reviewer this album is perfect to encapsulate in two hundred words or less because it does exactly what it says on the tin. Hand the same reviewer a copy of 'The Gap' and he will have an enormous amount of difficulty writing about it using the same methods he used to review the Anti-Flag record.

So how would one classify Joan of Arc? If you look at Joseph Campbell's work 'Hero with a Thousand Faces' or Northrop Frye's 'Anatomy of Criticism', an outline of the predictable means to critique popular culture is formed. However, when popular culture challenges these conventions, critics become obfuscated. French surrealist reactionary Guy Debord strongly influenced Joan of Arc's music. If one watches Debord's movie 'Howlings in Favour of Sade' could one make a critique using formulas set up by Joseph Campbell, Lester Bangs or, God help us, Ryan Schreiber? Would it be fair to send a film reviewer the latest Romantic Comedy designed to appeal to the masses at large and a copy of 'Un Chien Andalusia' by Salvador Dali? Would his opinion of each film be equally measured? Personally I don't think we could. So, does 'Un Chien Andalusia' or 'Howlings In The Favour of Sade' make a strong statement despite its removal from convention? Not only do these works present a clear break from mainstream ideology but they represent an alternative to popular culture we previously outlined. I believe Joan of Arc is the same way in many aspects. The music is very difficult to understand from a normative view-point because it does not follow a consistent pattern. Once we appreciate that although this album may arrive in the same format as the Anti-Flag record, it is not really of a similar ilk.
 
'The Gap' is probably the greatest example of this dichotomy. Tim Kinsella even mentions Guy Debord in a song title. How confused were people when this record came out? There were no real songs, the ones that do eventually take shape overlap one another and end abruptly mid-stream. Several of the songs have up to 200 tracks playing. The song titles are nonsensical arrays of words and symbols. The last track is completely blank. The album is unconventional in the truest sense of the word. Thus, it is easier for a reviewer to label the album pretentious than go through the two hundred or so listens it took me to appreciate 'The Gap'.

Thus, as previously mentioned, 'The Gap' is a series of audio images created to convey some fairly esoteric concepts. Namely, the record is concerned, much like the Debord book of the same name, with 'The Society of the Spectacle' and how the defiance of convention can perpetuate a certain sense of independence from normality. This interests me as a person who feels utterly marginalised from most aspects of modern society so it does not seem like an inappropriate subject for a rock band to approach. Appropriately, the album has as a subject the very dichotomy we explored during our examination of its critique. The relationship between what is and what appears to be or if you will, 'The Gap' between the real and the spectacle. Of course, the album also shares its title with a popular clothes shop that strives to create a sense of individuality but in actuality provides the reverse. The pernicious genius of the spectacle is its ability to mobilize the image of what it actually militates against. So while every customer who leaves the store may in their mind truly believe they have defied conformity (after all that's what all the marketing and advertising tells them right?) they have actually subscribed to an even greater encroaching homogeny. Did the reviewer of the Anti-Flag record make a similar mistake?

By conjuring images of corporativism within the title of the album itself it reminds us of the juxtaposition between the haves and the have-nots that is synonymous with the teachings of Karl Marx, a massive influence on Debord himself. Both thinkers were inspired by the idea of commodity fetishism, a central ideology of all capitalist society. On 'Me And America (Or) The United Colors Of The Gap' Tim Kinsella explores what he considers to be the final capitulation of his own country to the gestalt forces of the spectacle, as America succumbs to the seductive power of cultural hegemony. Indeed, by invoking the names of those pillars of independence in the song 'John Cassavetes, Assata Shakur, And Guy Debord Walk Into A Bar...', he is showing an almost perverse sense of optimism (that the three are still regarded by many as auteurs) or maybe the futility of standing against the torrential flow of mediocrity (Shakur was imprisoned, Cassavetes died in obscurity and Debord shot himself dead through the heart).

Of course, there's a whole album's worth of interpretations to be found beyond my own cursory examination but I have a cold and I thought I'd share a few thoughts since there's nothing to do but sit in bed with my laptop. Like I said, if you want a challenge and you consider yourself to have an open mind, maybe look for a copy of 'The Gap'.
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Joseph

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #9 on: 08 Oct 2007, 14:31 »

I really haven't found The Gap all that terribly difficult to listen to.  I actually rather enjoy it.  Am I doing something wrong?
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amok

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #10 on: 08 Oct 2007, 14:37 »

Is there a clear difference between an 'inaccessible' record and a 'shit' one? I mean I find panic at the disco pretty hard to listen to.

Misereatur

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #11 on: 08 Oct 2007, 14:56 »

Whitehouse make music which I find nearly impossible to listen to.

They have about twenty albums, most of which are actually white noise. Nearly everything else seems comical by comparison.

I'm going to see them live on December. I think I'm in for the weirdest night of my life.

Also, I find Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch pretty hard to listen to. This is one of the best avant grade Jazz albums of all time, but sometimes I just can't listen to all of it at once. I find myself actually taking breaks every two songs or so.

« Last Edit: 08 Oct 2007, 14:58 by Misereatur »
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zro

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #12 on: 08 Oct 2007, 15:23 »

I'm gonna say This Heat
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #13 on: 08 Oct 2007, 15:34 »

Is there a clear difference between an 'inaccessible' record and a 'shit' one? I mean I find Panic! at the Disco pretty hard to listen to.

It's not so much "hard to listen to" as "annoying as fuck."
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KharBevNor

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #14 on: 08 Oct 2007, 15:49 »

I was gonna say Whitehouse, though I personally found Merzbow harder to get in to.

It took me ages to get into really good old school BM, like Ulver's Nattens Madrigal: Aate Hymne Til Ulven I Manden and Burzum's self-titled. All the Les Legiones Noires bands as well.
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asyluman

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #15 on: 08 Oct 2007, 16:28 »

Do I lose if I say Metal Machine Music?
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bryanthelion

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #16 on: 08 Oct 2007, 16:59 »

Bjork,

she was atleast for me.
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Kai

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #17 on: 08 Oct 2007, 17:35 »

Do I lose if I say Metal Machine Music?

you really do.

this is pretty hard for me to answer because I'm at the point of such awful hearing that white noise (such as merzbow's entire post 2000 material since it is basically lazily put together laptop white noise) sounds awesome
« Last Edit: 08 Oct 2007, 17:40 by Kai »
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

Ishotdanieljohnston

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #18 on: 08 Oct 2007, 17:37 »

Bjork,

she was atleast for me.


yeah, she still doesn't make sense for me. What about in an airplane over the sea?- i mean it's pretty much my favourite album, but the first few times i listened to it i just couldn't make head or tails of it.
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SensoryOssuary

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #19 on: 08 Oct 2007, 17:55 »

Quote
(such as merzbow's entire post 2000 material since it is basically lazily put together laptop white noise)
So fucking wrong... his digital set-up is a series of really complex custom Max/MSP patches, it's WAY more complex than banging contact mic'd sheet metal.
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Karma Police

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #20 on: 08 Oct 2007, 18:32 »

Boris - Absolutego is pretty alienating.
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Kai

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #21 on: 08 Oct 2007, 18:33 »

Quote
(such as merzbow's entire post 2000 material since it is basically lazily put together laptop white noise)
So fucking wrong... his digital set-up is a series of really complex custom Max/MSP patches, it's WAY more complex than banging contact mic'd sheet metal.

(just for the reference I pretty much adore merzbow and only lightly kid about it)

(that being said I still like the tin sheet recording more)
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

ALoveSupreme

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #22 on: 08 Oct 2007, 18:38 »

I'd say pretty much any contemporary "classical" work from within the past 20 years or so (i.e. 12 tone serial type shit, Morton Feldman type four to five hour aleatoric pieces). 

so, for "album" I'll nominate Feldman's Durations, or maybe his piece mentioned on Wiki that I've never heard, String Quartet II , simply because it is stated to be 6 hours+ without a break and maintaining the same mood entirely throughout.
« Last Edit: 08 Oct 2007, 18:41 by ALoveSupreme »
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muteKi

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #23 on: 08 Oct 2007, 21:04 »

Manfred Mann Chapter III -- Go and listen to "A Study in Inaccuracy " and THEN we can talk about being inaccessible.
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jeph

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #24 on: 08 Oct 2007, 21:25 »

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DarthCat

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #25 on: 08 Oct 2007, 22:46 »

My vote off the bat would be "Zaireeka" by the Flaming Lips... if only for the equipment setup needed to listen to it properly.

That said it's still not much of an album, even when you listen to it like intended.
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pentaen

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #26 on: 08 Oct 2007, 23:28 »

haha jeff,

im suprised nobody has mentioned Wolf Eyes yet, or maybe even Lightning Bolt

i like em but it took me a bit of time to get there
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bryanthelion

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #27 on: 09 Oct 2007, 03:16 »

Bjork,

she was atleast for me.


yeah, she still doesn't make sense for me. What about in an airplane over the sea?- i mean it's pretty much my favourite album, but the first few times i listened to it i just couldn't make head or tails of it.


I think the whole magic about bjork is that she knows what shes talking about. Alas, noone else does.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #28 on: 09 Oct 2007, 05:56 »

Jesus fucking christ guys. Bjork? IN THE AEROPLANE OVER THE SEA?

Go and listen to some more music plz.
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bryanthelion

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #29 on: 09 Oct 2007, 06:01 »

 :|

I like aeroplanes...

and seas...
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #30 on: 09 Oct 2007, 06:05 »

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea might be the MOST accessible album of all time.
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The Roman

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #31 on: 09 Oct 2007, 06:33 »

Delirium Cordia - Fantomas

One 75-minute long track consisting not much more than samples from surgeries and the odd 2-second long grindcore riff, separated by 15 minute long passages of noise and blip-blops.

I took it back to the store the day after I bought it. This was obviously during my "everything Mike Patton does is genius" phase.

I kinda wish I'd kept it now, just so I could own such a crazy album.
Plus, it'd make good homework music.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #32 on: 09 Oct 2007, 06:46 »

I'm surprised that Merzbow isn't listen in every post. 'In the Aeroplane over the Sea'? Come on. A decent album, but not remotely inaccessible.

Obviously Merzbow is way up there, I also found Wormphlegm's "In an Excruciating Way..." To be really, really hard to take. Really slow, really evil funeral doom. Khanate's Things Viral still confounds me to this day, and Neurosis's 'Enemy of The Sun' was way to heavy for me when I first got it and it's still a huge slab of (awesome) noise.

I haven't heard much 12 tone stuff but it sounds pretty hard to get (perhaps there is nothing to get?) so I'll put it up there.

Basically, a 3 way tie between Wormphlegm's debut EP, Schoenberg's 12-tone stuff and Merzbow's crazier albums. I imagine there are some albums out there that are nothing but really trebly blasts of arrhythmical white noise for hours on end, though.
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est

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #33 on: 09 Oct 2007, 07:32 »

Once I recorded an album constructed entirely from the sounds of cats being crushed slowly in a trash compactor reversed, bumped up an octave and fed through a flanger.  I guess it's pretty inaccessible?

Can you really throw a question like this out here so openly?  Surely it's just going to devolve into which obscure, misanthropic black metal band beats out which?  In fact, we could probably save ourselves a whole lot of trouble and just PM Khar directly.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #34 on: 09 Oct 2007, 07:39 »

Surely it's just going to devolve into which obscure, misanthropic black metal band beats out which?

I'm listening to a band from my province named Wold which are remarkably inaccessible. It's black metal that consists solely of guitars, keys, drums and shrieking, with pretty much every instrument pushed so far into the red that half of the reviews I've seen categorize it under "noise." Seriously, it's tonal white noise. What's bizarre is that occasionally it's reminiscent of an overdriven Ride or a corpsepaint-wearing My Bloody Valentine.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #35 on: 09 Oct 2007, 07:48 »

Surely it's just going to devolve into which obscure, misanthropic black metal band beats out which?

I'm listening to a band from my province named Wold which are remarkably inaccessible. It's black metal that consists solely of guitars, keys, drums and shrieking, with pretty much every instrument pushed so far into the red that half of the reviews I've seen categorize it under "noise." Seriously, it's tonal white noise. What's bizarre is that occasionally it's reminiscent of an overdriven Ride or a corpsepaint-wearing My Bloody Valentine.

I recently got their 'Screech Owl' album and it is pretty sweet. ON the whole black metal point, I think Blut Aus Mord's new album is a pretty strange beast, just because it's so out of tune and what not. Sonically it's a lot easier to take then Wold, though.

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Johnny C

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #36 on: 09 Oct 2007, 08:27 »

I listened to both Wold albums back-to-back last night.

It was kind of a punishing experience. Lesson learned: take black metal in smaller doses.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #37 on: 09 Oct 2007, 08:42 »

I'm having trouble with the new Sunn O))) album. And I love Sunn O))).
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #38 on: 09 Oct 2007, 08:46 »

..there's a new Sunn O))) album out?  :-o Or is this Oracle?

Just returning to black metal (and indeed, any inaccessible music) I definitely think loud volumes help foster an appreciation of the music (if not necessarily an enjoyment.) For me, loud volume was what turned me onto to early Ulver era and drone.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #39 on: 09 Oct 2007, 09:04 »

Yeah, I meant Oracle.
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tomselleck69

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #40 on: 09 Oct 2007, 09:34 »

the residents - eskimo

ohhh those guys.

also, anyone suggesting that trout mask replica is the most inaccessible album of all time---consider the fact that that album is pure ear-cocaine for tom waits fans.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #41 on: 09 Oct 2007, 09:39 »

Francisco Lopez / Buildings -  usually gets the most sour faces for me. Over an hour long recording of the sounds of the air conditioning running in a skyscraper mixed with the sounds of the elevator. I'm surprised no one has mentioned WhiteHouse, Wolf Eyes, or... to make this easier... http://nofunfest.com/2007.html anyone from that site. I love all of it.. and maybe this is preaching to the choir... but outside of being at one of the shows, people act like you're mentally retarded for liking "noise."
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #42 on: 09 Oct 2007, 10:20 »

Dude at least three people have been discussing Whitehouse.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #43 on: 09 Oct 2007, 11:06 »

Good mention on No Fun Fest. I forgot that Hair Police released one of the most difficult records I've ever heard.
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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #44 on: 09 Oct 2007, 13:08 »

There is also Ryoji Ikeda who is more of a "sound artist" and makes tracks using white noise and sine waves. There are rumors he will pitch things so that people will leave if they talk during his sets, using frequencies that make you physically uncomfortable or ill.

and thanks dude for pointing out that i missed the whitehouse posts. i'm so behind, dude.
« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2007, 13:51 by analogthought »
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Xerostyle

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #45 on: 09 Oct 2007, 23:01 »

I can't find any demos on the intertron, but Swodeque is horsecrap.

If you can find a place that sells Goodnight Star CDs, they usually carry Swodeque.
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Lise

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #46 on: 09 Oct 2007, 23:33 »

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, Jesus- I thought "The Paper Chase" (or the pAper chAse, I suppose) was inaccessible D:.

Heh, I guess according to producer John Congleton, the definition of "abstract" or avant-garde would be "vicious to the ear." (http://www.citypaper.com/music/story.asp?id=8232)

Noise rock for me is much more appreciable live :o.
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Hamlet

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #47 on: 10 Oct 2007, 01:36 »

The most inaccessible album of all time consists of several hours of a single sine wave at a piercingly high pitche. It was released on DVD-audio in a limited pressing of 1 copy about five minutes ago.
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Ballard

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #48 on: 10 Oct 2007, 07:21 »

corpsepaint-wearing My Bloody Valentine.

I think I just died a little inside.

On second thought they'd probably just look like Strawberry Switchblade..
« Last Edit: 10 Oct 2007, 07:24 by Ballard »
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McTaggart

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Re: Most Inaccessible Album of All-Time?
« Reply #49 on: 10 Oct 2007, 08:23 »

Ryoji Ikeda

While I don't claim to know his entire catalog I have never come across anything he's done that wasn't at least fairly pleasant.
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