NAG at The Grosvenor, London, 2009 (c) A.N. Chand
Assault Group began in 1984 as a TNB side-project (the name taken from the TNB
track 'X-Nihilist Assault.') They contributed to the MBP The
Humane LP (Selektion, 1986) then nothing was heard of them until 2005 when
they appeared at the No Fun festival in New York. The line-up for that show
included members of TNB, Prurient and Emil Beaulieau. Recent releases have
included input from members of TNB, Putrefier, Cheapmachines, Snotnosed and Blue
Sabbath Black Cheer.
NB: There is currently a Russian Indie group and a US Hip-Hop group using the name as well as a Belgian Anarchist group, none of which have anything to do with the original NAG.
What seems at first to be an anti-art prank in practice feels somewhat profound in execution. A performance by Nihilist Assault Group was captured at 2006's No Fun festival, but is here split into a DVD featuring the visuals but no sound. Somehow, the fact that it's completely impossible to perfectly sync sound and image with this setup dissociates this 'accurate recording of live performance' from reality. Like the silent movies of yore, the accompaniment seems displaced from the element, almost as if it was created by someone else entirely. This slight out-of-phase effect renders the event, this second-hand account of a moment in time as something altogether more artificial than the more naturally-captured performance found on the Fun From None DVD, which also documents that year's festival. GX Jupitter-Larsen's DVD commentary (rendered as text on the screen) further reinforces this disconnect: after a long section about the essentially democratic/gestalt aspects of bacteria and touching an aspect of brain chemistry that seems to explain aesthetic refinement of the long-term enjoyment of horrible noise before hitting you with the 2 x 4. Long after the images are finished, the commentary continues, at which point we see the following: 'I am lucky if my eyes are looking at what I am watching. I am lucky if my ears are listening to what I am hearing. How often do you see what you're hearing? The screen is black for a reason.'
The statement goads the listener/viewer into admitting that their eyes are not 'looking at what they're watching' and their ears are not 'listening to what they're hearing,' not only because the sound and visuals are intrinsically out of phase, but because we're watching the 'live' performance second hand. It also seems to scold the modern tendency towards mindless consumption of both noise as sound and noise as object ('How often do you see what you're hearing?') Maybe it's not E=MC2, but it sure as shit beats, 'have a good time, all the time.' As Loud As Possible
Awesome collaborative full-length from these two projects, with Nihilist Assault Group featuring a very important Noise outfit that has heretofore gone unmentioned in Wall Maniacs, The New Blockaders. TNB, along with The Haters, brought complete chaotic live wall of noise featuring abuse of metal and power tools before the age of Youtube video. Extremely important in the genesis of the HNW genre, these artists were focused on presenting pure sound for its own sake. Nihilist Assault Group began as a collaboration between TNB, Prurient and Emil Beaulieau for the incredible Aural Retribution LP. Here NAG teams up with Wm. Rage and Stan Reed's Cascadian total Noise project Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Rage and Reed are credited with the 'Mixing and Massacre' title for all of this material, and indeed both sides flow together like one giant monolithic 'whorl' of sound. Opening with silence that gradually begins to give way to a tense minute of sound that feels like a dam about to burst, and then finally the release of pure unstoppable Wall of Noise. Very active and building industrial sounds share space with overlapping and overwhelming rushing noise, and what sounds like hundreds of different small sounds whirl past at a frenetic pace. The mix is definitely from a Wall Noise perspective as this release simply does not let up, but rather than a static wall of sound what you get is constant activity and violence adding up to an impenetrable wall. Eventually by the middle and towards the end of side one the record builds up an insane momentum as sounds akin to a screeching and demonic freight train, riding a flaming death trip through the black night. Interesting illustrations on the front and back cover of the two groups, BSBC seems to be depicted as prehistoric cavemen in some sort of cryogenic stasis or museum display presentation, while the members of NAG listen to a flaming phonograph and make plans over fine wine while wearing masks with large X's covering their faces. Side two cuts straight to the chase, jumping right back into a powerful blast of harsh static wall noise with odds and ends floating about what could be the wreckage of some other session or simply strange frequencies manifesting themselves. Razor sharp and extremely satisfying record that will appeal to fans of strict HNW just as much as fans of TNB style and 90s-style harsh metallic noise. Totally incredible record and highly recommended! Wall Maniacs
Aural Retribution (one-sided) LP (Hospital Productions, 2005)
Anti-Record 7”/cassette (RRRecords, 2005)
Silent Movie (one-sided) LP/DVD (Hospital Productions, 2009) NAG live at the No Fun festival, New York, 2005
untitled cassette (Gnarled Forest, 2009)
Planned Obsolescence (with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer) LP/7" (Gnarled Forest, 2009)
Compulsive Vandalism anti-LP/3" CDR (Gnarled Forest, 2011)
Fun From None 2DVD (Load, 2006) includes NAG live at the No Fun fest, New York, 2005, plus: Borbetomagus, Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, Macronympha, Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Prurient, 16 Bitch Pile-Up, and others.
Planned Obsolescence (with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer) CD (Artecnico)
Negation Is Freedom CD. Special edition includes 'Live At The Grosvenor' DVDR (Artecnico)