Scientists in Minneapolis create world’s quietest room; potential kidnappers now seek simultaneous career as acousticians

Scientists in Minneapolis create world's quietest room; potential kidnappers now seek simultaneous career as acousticians

“In space… nobody can hear you scream.” To the millionaire science skeptics out there, you’re welcome to explore that theory. Though Russia’s space tourism program is currently offering trips for a price of around $30 million, I hear they’re offering discounts for open displays of enthusiasm and positivity. General public gloominess in the country is at an all-time high… or low, depending on how you look at it.

For the rest of us, we’ll have to settle for the next best, non-reflective, really quiet thing: an anechoic chamber, one of the newest of which has been built by scientists at Minneapolis’ Orfield Labs, according to Brooklyn Vegan.

Zero noise from the outside and a complete lack of sound wave reflection on the inside means that, assuming you’re solo inside the room, you’re only left with your thoughts and the sound of your heartbeat. And thoughts about how you can hear your heartbeat. And thoughts about how your heartbeat is quickening due to the onset-paranoia of being able to hear your heartbeat. And thoughts about how you’re having a panic attack on the floor. Studies from Orfield Labs show that subjects placed within the chamber tend to start hallucinating within 30 minutes.

Watch a video explanation of the room below, though be forewarned that the digital recreation doesn’t show the man tripping balls. D’awww.

• Orfield Labs:

Turbonegro to tour United States, wear denim

Are Norwegian “deathpunks” Turbonegro wearing denim right now? Let me answer that one for you: yes. How do I know? I don’t, but I’m not seriously going to wager that Turbonegro are not wearing denim. I mean, have you ever seen a picture of those guys? If so, have you ever seen a picture where none of them are wearing denim? You haven’t.

Next question. Are Turbonegro touring the United States this spring? Yes. This time around, I have some pretty solid data, namely a list of Turbonegro tourdates. They’ll be playing single dates in New York and Chicago, before playing a week of West Coast dates leading into Las Vegas’s Punk Rock Bowling festival. Joining Turbonegro for a trio of these West Coast dates is Florida sludge metal outfit Torche. Will they be wearing denim? They damn well better be.

Turbonegro dates:

05.18.13 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
05.19.13 - Chicago, IL - Metro
05.20.13 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
05.22.13 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades *
05.23.13 - Costa Mesa, CA - Observatory *
05.24.13 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
05.25.13 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
05.26.13 - Las Vegas, NV - Punk Rock Bowling

* Torche

• Turbonegro:

Wolf Eyes overturn merch tables at the noise temple, rebuke believers via new full-length LP on De Stijl

Wolf Eyes, the Wu-Tang of noise, haven’t released an album since 2009’s Always Wrong (a.k.a. The W) on Hospital Productions, itself a fairly unheralded record compared to the high-profile one-two Sub Pop knockout virus of Burned Mind (a.k.a. Enter the Wu-Tang) and Human Animal (a.k.a. Wu-Tang Forever). In the time since the seeming decay of the W0, each member has been focusing on their own constellation of side projects, some as distinct an’ uncategorizable as their main unit… in the anxious, carefully arranged horror creep of Nate Young’s Regression series, the loping, psychedelic blues wheeze of Stare Case, and the long string of recent jaw-droppers from former member Aaron Dilloway (a.k.a. first-wave solo Wu-Tang).

Around Valentine’s Day, we learned that Mike Connelly had left and was being replaced with new guitarist Jim Baljo (a.k.a. Capadonna), who thank god is widely known as “CRAZY JIM.” Now the rejuvenated terrorist cell is ready to party once more, and on April 9 we’ll be able to mix it with our own bad vibrations via CD/LP release on De Stijl Records. De Stijl has had a long low-key supportive relationship with Wolf Eyes, releasing their Smegma collab on a paste-on jacket in the mid-00s, and handling Stare Case’s first LP in 2011. Plus, if a record isn’t at least a fascinating spin on both sides, it’s not getting released on De Stijl. So you can just start tweeting about how it’s mindblowing now.

The new album is called No Answer : Lower Floors, and recalls previous efforts but “goes much further” according to the press release, which I’m not going to quote from anymore because I’m desperate to come across as something less than a hack. The shock of early Wolf Eyes rattlesnakery has given way to a more slow-burning mixture of tape delay, haltering electronics, “lost boatman on an empty dock” sax, and surprisingly clear vocals and steady rhythms, obviously influenced by the direction of their side projects. Even Dilloway and Connelly make appearances… cute! Hear the opening track “Choking Flies” below, hear the whole album via Pitchfork Advance, and preorder that filthy sucker direct from De Stijl. Finally, check out the just-announced European tourdates below, with additional dates in the US to come forthwith.

No Answer : Lower Floors tracklisting:

01. Choking Flies
02. Born Liar
03. No Answer
04. Chattering Lead
05. Confession of the Informer
06. Warning Sign

European tourdates:

04.17.13 - Arnhem, Netherlands - Willemeen
04.18.13 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix @
04.19.13 - Bremen, Germany - Friese
04.20.13 - Neuchatel, Switzerland - Queen Kong Club
04.21.13 - Geneva, Switzerland - L’Usine
04.22.13 - Brussels, Belgium - Magasin4
04.23.13 - London, UK - Corsica Studios
04.24.13 - Lisbon, Portugal - ZDB
04.25.13 - Berlin, Germany - Festsaal
04.26-27.13 - Paris, France - Instant Chavires
04.28.13 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - OCCII #

@ The Soft Moon
# Sightings

• Wolf Eyes:
• De Stijl:

Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw) and dublab launch audio/visual series focusing on EVERYTHING

Let’s ignore masochistic theories for the time being; it’s hard to justify paying for cable these days. You’re getting around 300 channels, while regularly watching maybe five of them, and much of your time is spent navigating the guide trying to find something to watch anyway. Oblivious to the futility of that ultimate goal (at least while you’re in the process of searching), the fact is, most of what’s on television is utterly mind-numbing, and possibly devolutionary. If only there was a channel that offered serene nature shots with a looped recording of a goat playing subtly in the background.

You’re in luck, outdoorsy goat fetishists! Cameron Stallones a.k.a. Sun Araw has just started an audio/visual series with the Los Angeles-based indie radio station dublab, called “Second System Vision Radio.” The name isn’t quite enough to give you the gist, so Stallones graciously elaborated: the project is “a monthly stakeout involving a complex filtration system including but not limited to tunes, talks, texts, and video.” Uh huh. You know, words, while wonderful, aren’t always the best at conveying an idea. Go ahead and check out the first episode, entitled “Linen Clothes,” below (stay til the end for a chess match with Jeff Witscher a.k.a. Rene Hell).

• Sun Araw:
• Dublab:

RIP: Phil Ramone, producer for Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Frank Sinatra

From Billboard:

Phil Ramone, the instinctive music producer whose mixing mastery for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel helped fashion some of the most sumptuous and top-selling albums of his era, has died. He was 72.

The 14-time Grammy winner and 33-time nominee once dubbed “The Pope of Pop” was hospitalized in late Feb. with an aortic aneurysm in New York and died Saturday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to Ramone’s son Matt.

• Phil Ramone:

Simon Reynolds announces expanded edition of Energy Flash, apparently experiencing a little retromania of his own

Apparently music writer Simon Reynolds is following in the footsteps of backward-looking musicians everywhere and reissuing his foundational 1998 rave history, Energy Flash. Seems a little ironic, don’t you think, that a guy who basically book-length yelled at all of us for being a little too stuck in the past is now repeating his own history?

Just kidding! Reynolds is the author of some of the most interesting music writing available these days, including 2005’s Rip It Up and Start Again and 2011’s Retromania. Energy Flash is his essential book on rave culture and dance music of the late 80s and 90s, and it’s been called a “must-read” by all sorts of people who both read books and are known for telling other people what to do. For those unfamiliar with it, the book relies heavily on Reynolds’ firsthand experiences of the early rave scene and features interviews with artists like Aphex Twin and Goldie. The expanded edition has a new section on the rise of dubstep and America’s current obsession with EDM. I, for one, am looking forward to Reynolds explaining the American EDM thing and am seriously hoping that he’ll include a section called “Taylor, Here’s How to Talk to Your Grandmother about footwork,” because, let me tell you, I was at a total loss over Christmas.

The expanded version will be out in bookstores and as an e-book on June 20. If you’re not too stuck in the past, maybe download it to one of your digital devices and read it in between cat videos. The book is published by Faber & Faber, and Reynolds will be reading from the book’s new section at The Faber Social on April 2 in London.

• Simon Reynolds:
Energy Flash:
• Faber & Faber: