Above is a video of Merzbow, AKA, God. The rest of this post is on Prurient, but I think it would piss people off to watch and listen to a video of him.
Hopefully you've watched/listened by now, so I can smile at potentially pissing your ears off.
I think something unique about noise is how undefinable it is--it isn't this, and it's not that, etc--but this clearly makes it difficult to talk about. I read many reviews and critical discussions about noise, though none of them have allowed me to see any deeper into the genre--they feel more like orbital debris than anything else. This is particularly troublesome for me because I'm trying to write a paper on noise artist Prurient for this class, and, though I think my intuitions about him are relevant to both critical theory and media consumption in general, I don't feel I'm adding anything to the essence of Prurient's body of work. I have the vocabulary to describe his sounds, but that vocabulary doesn't really serve a purpose, aside from potentially allowing me to play semantic games. As much as I rant about how important inter-disciplinary research and discussion is, doing a simple close reading of Prurient just ends up producing a long stream of bullshit jargon, which sucks.
I like the way Prurient grabs my ears and makes them reel with pain, because it pushes out thought and gives me a feeling of helplessness. This is of course a masochistic response, but I find it interesting that so many people have that same response... as if pain produces an ultimately euphoric feeling--the feeling that one is taken care of by the universe, precisely because he can't take care of himself, which, I hear, many people acquire when they assess their own lack of power in relation to the world, "religion is the opiate of the masses", blah blah. I think this is, potentially, a large part of catharsis. And this is, to me, a manifestation of manipulation, possibly even coercion--and don't we read what we read because it forces us to go somewhere, whether we want to go there or not? And does music potentially do this better than language?