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:: Spotlight :: The breakcore world of Noistruct

By: Lisa Rodrigues

Breakcore has been a quiet phenomenon despite the irrepressible growth of electronic music in recent years. Completely incondusive to the pill-popping, repetitive music that has spawned increasingly profitable parties world-wide, this is one form of electronic you definitely can not dance to.

Rather than most electronic music, with repetitive rythyms created from electronic mediums, Breakcore artists instead actively attempt to create a discordant sound. They do this through sampled speech, music and any audio sample they can get their hands on. Samples range from hip-hop to metal to chainsaws to cartoons. The result is a non-rhythm - a choppy sound that seems incongruous with the term ‘music.’

But where is the appeal? The lack of rhythm will likely repel the majority of electronic fans, but the genre isn't completely unpleasant to the ear. It still keeps a smoothness in the transitions between samples. The constant changes keep you on your toes in a very visceral way. Much like initially walking into a club playing heavy bass, the primal appeal of it is to keep you excited as your pulse chases a different rhythm every other second.

It sounds like the next generation of music just waiting to take off, but Noistruct, aka Boris Otterdam, explains. “(Breakcore) has been around since the 1940s but it was artists like SPK from Sydney, Einsturzende Neubauten from Berlin, Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle from England.” Having been around for years, Breakcore looks like it will remain low-key.

Boris‘ recent CD launch was hailed as the 'Noise event of the year’ by 100% magazine. (Noise is a related electronic genre and is often mistaken for the same thing.) The Noistruct launch combined 10 electronic artists from NSW, WA and Victoria to play Breakcore and related genres Noise and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music.).

Noistruct says it went “Better than I expected,” despite the fact that at some point somebody asked him to play something else. He admits this is common at his gigs. “People don‘t understand it or they don't like it and they… think it's their right” to ask them to turn it down or change the track. “You wouldn't go to an Armand Van Helden gig and say 'could you turn that down? It's too loud.’”

Boris says many of his fellow Breakcore artists found each other through the internet or just by trading their music with other artists. Boris says Melbourne has one of the strongest Breakcore communities at the moment, but admits “There could be scenes out there I don't even know about” because of the grassroots nature of the genre. He implies that it's the unclassifiable nature in the music that gives it the appeal. Not entirely dance music, but not exactly anything else; there's no pre-conceived notion about what a Breakcore gig is supposed to
be like. Influences range from all genres of electronic, particularly extreme and high bpm music (really really fast) but there's also fans with metal, rap and industrial music backgrounds. “The best thing about a Breakcore gig is there's no expectations…there's no pressure to dance, there's no pressure to do anything.”

I ask if he thinks the nature of Noise will change if it increases in popularity. “No, never. If we get a formula it'll become boring and we'll change it again.” In keeping with this ethos, Boris doesn't consciously attempt to keep a flowing line-up when organising gigs. “(We'd) just have our friends play, and they'd do all kinds of electronic music in one gig… but that's not a rule.”

In this highly experimental and defiant genre it seems there are no rules. Boris agrees, adding “Don't be boring. That's a rule.”

To check out Noistruct online visit here
His CD Deathwish is available here or Peril Underground in Melbourne.

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