Today’s featured track from THE ENTERTAINMENT (Immigrant Breast Nest’s 5-year anniversary album) is comedy architecture from NYC-based artist and noise genius, Mysterious House. Mysterious House has a long history with Immigrant Breast Nest, including two full albums, and graces this track with his outlandish noise styles, ranging from concrete scrapes to outer-space floats, always with an abundance of dynamics.
We asked Mysterious House for some additional info about the track, music-making procedures, and approach to sound. We’ll be having mini-interviews like this with each of the contributors to THE ENTERTAINMENT.
1) Tell us a bit about your contribution to The Entertainment. Is it typical of your music? Are there any sounds/processes/elements in it that you haven’t included before? Were you trying to go for any specific listener reaction?
comedy architecture is as much an object to be observed as it is a sensory provocation. Certainly, there are some emotions. But I don’t want emotion to eclipse a cooler, more detached, aesthetic appreciation.
2) Are you better off in your music than you are walking around in life?
I am definitely more comfortable in in the space of music, or even visual art than I am in real physical space. Physical space is too bound by responsibility, people’s actions in physical space are too coded, too immediately attributable to their motivations. Physical space is repressed by the laws of capitalism. When i walk down the street, everything just looks like money, I can read the influence of money on just about every object I see.
But in the created, disembodied spaces of music and visual art you can provoke, harm, taunt, tease, sentimentalize, be lazy, and so on in a space which is safe, and which demands way less commitment. Its one thing to make pictures of corpses, but quite another to bring a real corpse into your life. Sometimes with music, I’m relieved the artist is trapped in an MP3 or in a stereo system, rather than being there in the room with me.
3) What is noise? What role does “noise” have in your work?
Noise refers to a handful of scenes, the most prominent of which are in Japan and the United States. Historically, people in these scenes have made very “noisy” sounds, but noisiness (from a sonic perspective) isn’t what defines them. They are fickle, they are into fads, and their relationship to genre is simultaneously loose and forward thinking. Why do I say that noise is a scene rather than a sound? Because Pedestrian Deposit is making drone, Dominick Fernow is making techno, and Maso Yamazaki is making psychedelic rock. This is nothing new. Lightning Bolt was a much more conventionally musical endeavor than say, Florian Hecker, but the term noise sticks to Lightning Bolt way more effectively than it does to Hecker. Lazy Magnet’s attachment to the noise scene is very telling, in the sense that Lazy Magnet was a sprawling, versatile affair that absorbed more genres than anyone can count, and drew from a staggering variety of traditions.
I have a lot of affection for noise, its probably the scene I’m most comfortable in. But its still far from home. I have a lot of problems with its total subservience to both fads and dogmas. Posturing often comes at the expense of aesthetics. Still, after all these years I keep going back to their shows.
4) Did you intentionally want to make something the listener could only speculate about, rather than be certain of?
It’s difficult for me to understand how there could be any certainty in music, unless you’re talking about certainty of process (this piece was certainly made with a piano) or some kind of stereotyping about the musician (this piece was certainly made by a grindcore enthusiast on food stamps). Personally, I find genuinely mysterious things to be rare and precious. When something is deeply confounding, when it refuses to resolve itself and give you an answer, hold on to it, keep it close, and cherish the rare sensation!
5) What’s next for Mysterious House? Anything you want to tell people about?
Drive alone at night deep into the suburbs, where no one is on the street, where its dark. Get out of your car and walk. Look at the houses, imagining that they are all empty, that no has ever lived in them, but that they are just enormous empty boxes full of light and furniture.
Derek Tibs (CEO, Immigrant Breast Nest)