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Meet the People Behind Jogja’s Guerrilla Noise Shows


The noise scene isn’t really know for its accessibility. The genre, which favors experimentalism and a heavy focus on atonal noise, isn’t exactly the kind of thing that finds itself on heavy radio rotation. But the Yogyakarta-based noise collective Jogja Noise Bombing (JNB) is trying to bring noise to the masses.

Jogja Noise Bombing sets up unlicensed public performances by local noise artists. The shows, which tow the line between musical performances and performance art, are one of the many things keeping the city of Yogyakarta weird. But, setting up the events is often a challenge, said founder Martinus Indra Herwaman—who is known around town as Indra Menus.

“The challenge is to perform in preman filled areas or in a fried chicken restaurant filled with customers,” Indra Menus said.

Some shows are unlicensed affairs. Other times they are chased away by security or local residents who find the musicians a bit too… abrasive. But the noise scene is a global community, and, for many Indonesians, Jogja Noise Bombing is their first exposure to the more extreme side of music.

VICE: So why do you guys perform in public space?
Indra Menus: We were inspired by graffiti artists. We decided to perform noise music by utilizing the public street’s electricity without actually having a permit and all that nonsense. We just go for it. The first time we did it was in Taman Budaya Yogyakarta. It was 2009 and a lot of noise bands were playing mixed gigs. But we were often forced to turn down the volume or risk being cut off by the sound guy because they were afraid we would break the amps. At that time, there weren’t a lot of affordable music venues in Yogyakarta. So we thought why not create an all noise gig at a less restricting venue.

What are some of the places you performed?
We played at these locations with no permit: Taman Kuliner; Taman Budaya Yogyakarta; Graha Sabha Pramana, the UGM campus, in front of a gymnasium in UGM hill, the UNY campus, the T-junction at Jalan Magelang; a rooftop at UAD, the sidewalk in front of a fried chicken stall on Jalan Seturan. There were so many more.

But JNB does a lot more that just guerrilla noise shows, right?
JNB has done a couple of projects. We released a noise compilation called V/A Berisik. That’s already run for two volumes, on CD, cassette, and digital download. At the moment, we’re working on another noise comp. that is going to be recorded at a more professional studio.

We’ve also built a network of noise musicians in Southeast Asia. Some of our output includes comps. and splits, as well as tours to neighboring countries. And JNB Week is a full week of workshops on how to create your own instruments or software, discussions about noise music, movie screenings, and an art exhibition. The first JNB Week was held at Ace House.

JNB once did a show on the beach. This music doesn’t exactly evoke beach vibes.
That was Persami Experimental, a collaborative project between JNB and the YK Booking Collective. We shared a lot and performed in all these different environments for that series. It was all wrapped up in a chill, campground like vibe. The first one was held in Watu Lumbung, near Pantai Parangtritis.

Source : https://www.vice.com/en_asia/article/aevyy4/meet-the-people-behind-yogyas-guerilla-noise-shows

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