In my opinion, there are two types of noise fans out there: people who like Masonna, and people who think he’s trash. And frankly as far as I’m concerned, I can definitely see why people hate him so much. While noise definitely features itself as a genre generally embracing of shock value and grotesque expressions, Masonna’s work feels like either a parody of what people who don’t listen to harsh noise think of when someone mentions harsh noise, or a sincere attempt at what I would equate to a harsh noise equivalent of Diablo Swing Orchestra.
In short, Masonna’s work is fucking goofy, especially his 90s materials. Goofy isn’t always bad in noise, but Masonna takes it to a point where even ironically it sounds like an insult. His wailings and short bursts of often quirky sounding noise sound silly both ironically and post-ironically, and frankly it would be easy to assume one who really likes Masonna’s well known albums generally are liking them for the shock value rather than truly appreciating the art.
As much as I identify with those feelings, I’m beginning to understand why people like Masonna in general, as well as this particular album, Ejaculation Generator. Yes, this album is really fucking silly. The title is Ejaculation Generator, and consists of 33 untitled tracks that total 30 minutes, often with ideas totally disconnected from everything else, or tracks that flow together in a way where you cant even really tell the track has changed. In a weird way, it’s almost a deconstruction of what an album is, although the potential for such a statement is not explored enough to really feel intentional. That said, sometimes silly is good.
I think the difference between a very overtly silly prog band and a very silly noise act is that it’s very difficult to be a very silly noise act and also take yourself very seriously, even if maybe it seems that way. Yes, there are some hilarious edgy power electronics album that do take themselves way too seriously, but for he most part noise is one of those genres where, especially in the 90s, you could just yell “heil hitler” in a show and nobody would assume you’re being serious. Even amongst serious noise people there was an expression of play. Ejaculation Generator is just that expression of play taken to a very literal extent, and I think it makes some noise fans maybe a little uncomfortable in a “loking at yourself in the mirror” way. And frankly. I can appreciate that.
That said, in terms of quality, there are way better noise albums out there. While I’m beginning to appreciate this on an intellectual level, my love for this album doesn’t go much beyond that. Technically speaking, there’s not much on here you wont find anywhere else. It’s a unique sound made up of many non unique and often rather repetitive and boring elements. Even the interludes seem to all sound the same.
The short run time helps, as I think an hour of this would make for a very miserable experience, but it also means that there’s less room to express different ideas, of which Masonna never bothers. It’s just screaming, quirky noises, all collected in many short bursts of which none fail to impress.
I’ve grown to the fact that this isn’t a bad album, but I can’t really get totally behind it either. Silly only works so much, there needs to still be content behind that silly too.
Content Analysis: The title is gross, but nothing to speak of otherwise.
Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6UGfRVxFL0