I started writing this by trying to tie the history of this underground noise back to that magic year of 1977, when punk and industrial simultaneously exploded and created a veritable Big Bang in popular music. But it was getting way too huge so I figured I’d just make some basic assumptions and stop trying to explain why this music exists. Oddly enough, Providence RI has always had a very amusing scene; certainly when I lived there (1985-93), there was never a dearth of local noise of which to bear witness.
So fast forward to 2007, and the emergence of the independent label “Rare Youth”. Rare Youth essentially played host to every noise freak within a 20 mile radius (essentially encompassing the entirety of Rhode Island, “the Biggest Little State of the Nation,” affectionately known as teh biggest little) until its unfortunate departure to Pittsburgh, where I’m sure it continues to re-architect the lay of the noisefloor…
I came across this *mammoth* double CD compilation from Rare Youth a while ago, during oen of mymany correspondednces with Providence-based artist Area C, on which he appears. There are tracks from 38 different artists on these CDs, each providing a specific approach to manipulating the natural noisefloor of human audible perception. Of the 38 bands present, some are sporting my favorite band-names *ever*, including Russian Tsarcasm, I Would Eat That Pizza, God Willing, Teenage Waistband, Unicorn Hard-On, and more.
These are the types of grass-roots, street level, should-only-ever-be-for-sale-at-gigs type of homesoun joy that I live for. Sure. some of the tracks sound like they were cut direct-to-ducttape, but that’s the point. The *lack* of production value *is* the production value. It’s not really something you can talk someone into believing; you just have to acquire it yourself.
And, in line with such a sensibility, the packaging is hand-pasted copies onto chipboard stock gatefold covers. Again, a design value all its own.
Click on the links below to hear tracks from this essential compilation.