Weirdest Crap I've Ever Listened To
Throughout my most adventurous and eager months digging for new music, I have come across music that pushes conventional boundaries in the most aggressive forms possible.
These are most likely not the weirdest albums ever made, and I’m sure I’ll come across things more bizarre, more unsettling, more challenging than what I’ve already accustomed myself to. There surely exists in some record collection the most alien and abstract sounds created that just never fell on the right ears necessary to make an impact.
Weird does not equate a lack of quality. Each album I mention here is one I have enjoyed with a simultaneous awareness of how off-kilter they are. If you need something strange in your circulation, hopefully you can find a recommendation here.
Masonna, a Japanese noise artist, pushes the use of feedback to amplified amounts. Ejaculation Generator is composed of 32 brief tracks that run continuously into each other. Void of melody and conventional song structures, this album is on onslaught of harsh and vulgar atonal buzzing prime to shock the unsuspecting.
German based Einsturzende Neubauten are an important act in the formation of industrial music. Their seminal album Halber Mensch is regarded as a classic in the genre. But Halber Mensch, as challenging as it is, seems fairly conventional compared to the bands earliest work. On Kollaps, Einsturzende Neubaten forgoes traditional instruments and instead creates abrasive and brash noise on homemade sound devices and metal objects found lying around the band’s homes. The sound is made even more difficult with Blixa Bargeld’s curdled screeches drifting on top.
Avant-garde metal (?) duo Orthrelm are not interested in releasing traditional albums. OV is their most praised experiment. It consists of just one 45-minute track. Just guitar and drums, the two shift from one repetitive loop to another, taking notes from minimalist composers and ambient artists from the past and utilizing their techniques in a rock context. The motifs are sparse in texture but highly technical. Some listeners might find this album monotonous, where others like myself may be captivated by the unique concept Orthrelm explores.
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
Trout Mask Replica
Horror stories have come out of the recording sessions for Trout Mask Replica.Van Vilet operated as a totalitarian madman in a small house in an LA suburb as he venomously micromanaged every painstaking detail. Requiring over a year to prepare for, each note is arduously and immaculately rehearsed. The result: one of the zaniest albums of all time. The atonal and polyrhythmic instrumentals don’t seem to mesh or align at all with each other while everything else comes off as rough and disjointed. Yet it all sounds intentional, intricate, and meticulously crafted. Don Van Vilet reads his free form, cryptic poetry with his best attempt at a blues-rock wail. As outlandish as this album is, it has undeniably gone on to become an important and influential moment in the rock canon.
Greatest Hits Volume 1
Wesley Willis embodied the idea of an outsider artist. Suffering from schizophrenia, Willis turned to art, believing it to have chased his demons away. Willis’ music is untrained and poorly recorded. He shouted his erratic rants over house made instrumentals recorded on his Technics digital keyboard. Willis’ colorful song titles include “Jesus is the Answer,” “I Wupped Batman’s Ass,” and “The Chicken Cow.”
Yes, Faust is a discernibly strange band, but they are also a vastly important one as well. One of the key players in the German krautrock movement, Faust’s influence can be traced amongst numerous underground artists and genres. Faust toyed with frenzied rock instrumentals, music concrete, spoken word, tape splicing, and any other sound they deemed appropriate to incorporate. These tracks go on without any tired or true form. They were entirely liberated to make the most otherworldly and mind bending experimental music they envisioned. While alienating to most people, Faust’s debut is an alluring contrast to the idea most people had of what rock music was at the time.
Margaret Chardiet, performing under the name Pharmakon, is an experimental musician who as perfected the art of terrifying her listeners. With her disintegrating mechanical sounds and tortured screams, Bestial Burden contains some of the most disgusting sounds one is sure to find on record. It is absolutely captivating. Reflecting on a major surgery, Bestial Burden’s is all about the betrayal of one’s own body.