A friend once told me that all of the noise dudes in Chicago were nothing but a bunch of posturing dorks, but that Kevin Drumm has probably actually killed people. I don’t imagine that’s true, and although he is an untamed looking mother fucker I imagine he’s a swell guy. He was behind me in the beer line once and did not purchase flagons of whiskey as you might expect, but the smallest bottle of Smirnoff the store had to offer. That said, his music is basically the most evil sound that was ever made, and occasionally that is something I can get behind. I generally worry about my hearing and have already done enough damage during ages 18 to 21, but Drumm’s Sheer Hellish Miasma is still one of the most impressive documents of electronic music to these ears bar none. I used to blast it at 4am when I was working overnight in the sound studios in college just to feel how loud it was. Maybe the worst thing you could ever listen to on headphones, but through the speakers it’s almost paralyzing.
Now why I’m bringing him up; the guy has two new releases: a box set and a reissue of his first album (see above) from 1997, which is one of the best solo guitar records ever (probably my favorite at least). Drumm is an extremely influential player in regards to experimental music in Chicago, who organized the Myopic Books improv nights during the mid 90s which still happen today. I can say the same for very few people in this city and in fact most players his age are miserable burn outs or stale academics, nether of whom I recommend talking to. Kevin’s not exactly on the same page as he once was, but he certainly deserves the MacArthur grant more than some assholes.