One of the more curious things on the first volume of Sub Rosa’s Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music is a piece by Sonic Youth entitled Audience. Its a heavily modified recording of the crowd that was made at the band’s 1983 show in Berlin. As sonicyouth.com explains:
This is a previously unreleased piece found for us in Sonic Youth‘s archives by Lee Ranaldo. Audience is typically Cagian – in the sense that, at the end of a robustly noise-oriented concert (this was the period of Confusion is Sex and Kill yr Idols), the microphones were turned towards the audience and the musicians modified the sound that came back to them.
The overall effect produced by Audience is a rather disorienting one – is this a celebration, a form of mass psychosis or an imitation of deep religious trance (or even a combo of all three)? And why does it feels like there’s something deeply animalistic about all the hooting and hollering captured in this piece?
Same questions can be asked about the video for One Over by 101 Beats Per Minute. The original track sounds rather ominous in itself, but it turns even darker while coupled with a footage of worshipers stuck in a trance (or are they overexcited concert-goers? one can never tell for sure).