I attended my first noise show in a Baltimore warehouse in 2008 before I moved to Texas later that year. Seeing the artists and genres within the noise and greater experimental music world get taken seriously in reviews in national publications over the last decade has been refreshing and encouraging. I was even more stoked to find out that there was a noise community of our own right here in SA
. Though small even in recent years, it is burgeoning.
Since then, we’ve discovered more artists who are prone to express themselves through unconventional, anti-pop mediums, and have added to the already rich and diverse musical amalgam that makes up San Antonio’s music scene. Artists who paint the atmosphere of a room with tones and textures as opposed to straight-forward chord progressions. Artists like Grant Carfer, who performs as Fierce Deity, and who has been active in the scene since 2011.
Though I met Carfer when I was first truly discovering the noise community a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t catch his live set until mid-2017 at a show where folks like industrial act Mvtant
were performing. There was also local noise acts like Echo Curse and Bob Dole Shows Up Late For His Matinee, who have been credited with keeping the scene alive and organized in San Antonio.
Huddled into a small living room of a West Side home, twenty or so attendees squeezed closer to watch Carfer perform. Using a combination of mixers, guitar pedals, loop stations and a contact mic, Carfer launched into his six-minute set, tearing the molecules of the air in half with his soundscapes. Moments of regurgitating rumbles took a backseat as high-pitched shrieks bounced off the walls of the living room before falling into glitching static. It was all-together loud, abrasive and still, controlled.
“I kind of like the idea of making something out of nothing,” Carfer told the Current
this week. “‘Really, just with a contact mic, you’re scraping something and distorting the living shit out of it – so I kind of feel like you’re taking minimal input from [a sound] and maximizing it to it’s ultimate degree].”
Carfer explained even though he strives to make every performance unique, he still practices at home with his setup until the sound he’s creating is what he wants to duplicate live.
“Some people think ‘oh anybody can do that,’ and it’s true, but I always kind of say, ‘it’s easy to get into but hard to be good at,’” said Carfer. “Like anyone can pick up a guitar and strum it, but to be good at it, takes practice.”
On Friday, November 2 the noise artist is releasing his eponymously named EP Fierce Deity
For more information and to purchase the EP visit fiercedeity1.bandcamp.com/album/fierce-deity-ep or ctcrecords.com.
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