May 11, 2005 News & Features » Cover Story


804 Noise 

Creating a Community

For Kenneth Yates, who helped found the collective in 2001, inclusiveness is the natural outgrowth of his philosophy on experimental music. "Whether or not it's experimental all depends on the person," he says. "If they haven't done it before, then it's experimental to them ... We keep the intellectualism to a minimum."

The drive to establish a self-sustaining network in Yates' hometown mirrors his self-taught trial-and-error approach to making music. "We're not just a bunch of promoters," he says. "We want to build a community strongly based on the sort of DIY ethic that it's there and all you have to do is take it."

"Noise Solution" is an important facet of the collective because it exposes onlookers and members alike to new experiences, with guest DJs sometimes mining their own eccentric audio archives. "The radio show has been so great to me personally," says Kelly Nourse, who collaborates with Yates under the moniker Harm Stryker. "To hear so much music I don't own has been so nice." The group's Wednesday night Social also serves as a musical swap meet, and guests are encouraged to add their found sound, arrhythmic electronica and ambient sound-scapes to the mix.

The Social aside, 804 Noise eschews loud bars and clubs when planning events. "That's the cool thing about the 804 shows," Hudson says. "We tend to do them in galleries, and there's a certain notion of how you're supposed to act in a gallery." Such venues particularly suit Hudson's project Monolith Zero: "It's not even a musical project; it's a sound-art project ... a good piece of art would never just reveal itself to you ... it's something you have to meet halfway."

Perhaps the ultimate manifestation of the collective's effort to discourage socializing in favor of listening is FM Intrusion. Even before WRIR took to the airwaves in January, the collective employed rudimentary radio technology for these recurring events, outfitting attendees with FM headphones and broadcasting performers through a low-wattage transmitter. The result is both "conceptual" (Hudson) and "subversive" (Yates). — Nathan Lott

804 Noise hosts a weekly Social on Wednesdays at Empire Lounge, 7-11 p.m. The collective meets the first and last Sunday of each month at Richmond Queer Space, 4-6 p.m. 377-6902. "Noise Solution" airs on WRIR 97.3-FM Sunday nights 11 p.m.-1 a.m.

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