Rumpeln - Noise means Noise

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For those who get a disc of Rumpeln on the table for the first time with this album, here is a confidential handout from the insider circles of the noise niche: Rumpeln is probably one of the most prominent noise acts in Germany, and southern Germany anyway. But the categories "prominent" and "Germany" are certainly part of what Rumpeln's "sloganless protest" - as Anton Kaun once described his understanding of noise - is directed against. "No Nation but Noise", as it was once called on a sticker of one of his labels. So let's leave that.   Instead, "Noise Means Noise." It is typographically almost impossible not to read "No means No" here, and it is also meant as a negation, as a no to all meanings that could lie beyond the noise. Just as a completely black painting negates all color and represents nothing but itself: Noise as the acoustic negation of everything, as a noise barrier to ward off the - sonic and other - impositions of reality, from Helene Fischer to the signal tone of the annoying Messenger app.   Now these impositions never stop, which is why noise actually has to be produced on a continuous basis - just like rumbling does. And there is always something to do - Noise is never finished. Because the "pure" noise is a beautiful utopia, which is never reached. While the musician can briefly enjoy the (of course erroneous!) feeling that he has created "something lasting", the noiser has to make a new attempt to eradicate the consensus sound with every performance, every cassette, every record: Failure as a chance. At least as a chance for even more Noise.   Noise can never be "pure" because it can only ever appear as a disturbing noise in relation to a defined, normative signal - linguistic, musical, physical. Against the noise that is labeled as a parasite, small minds then employ procedures such as "noise cancelling." The genre that is sabotaged with the noise of rumbles is thereby pop in the broadest sense, its beats, its studio technologies (about as the saxophone playing of Peter Brötzmann is noise in relation to jazz).   The smarter people in pop - like producer legend Tobias Levin, at whose invitation and in whose studio this record was made, or Albert Pöschl, on whose label Echokammer it appears - have admittedly long since understood that Noise is not a parasite, but rather a symbiont of the pop sound: From guitar distortion to autotune, it is precisely the impure, the alienated, the maximally artificial and sometimes even the broken that makes pop sound interesting (and also politically interesting, by the way, because it blurs the "origins" of the sound, deterriorializes it: it doesn't matter where you come from, the main thing is that it sounds cool. "No Nation but Noise," in other words.)

So it is quite consistent - and extremely pleasing! - that the aforementioned gentlemen make possible a homage to noise from the perspective of pop with this Rumpeln album. "Noise means Noise" is the sonic equivalent of a juicy mushroom stew, which Rumpeln - with audible fun in the matter and absurd humor (see title list!) - dumps down the throat of the all-consuming Moloch of real existing capitalism, to shut him up at least for the duration of two record sides. Wohl bekomm's!   Gerald Fiebig (author of "Nothing (but) Noise under the Sun? - Utopias and Aporias of Noise")