NeMoCore (sometimes Nemocore) is a new-music movement founded in the late 1990s by a small group of musicians and thinkers based on Canal Street
, New York City
and in a small hamlet in North Carolina
The music is characterized by high-sound-pressure-level improvisation featuring electronic instruments, primarily guitar
and analog synthesizer
. It disdains the use of drums
The leading exponents in this new-music field are foot
(an experimental trio comprised of members of Sonic Youth
and Jim Dunbar
, whose Canal Street pad serves as Ground Zero
for the New York wing of the movement) and Malcolm Riviera
, a former Gumball member who runs the Web pages dedicated to propagating the NeMoCore way.
The movement's guiding philosophy has been laid out in a four-paragraph salvo, reprinted here in full, titled "The NeMoCore Manifesto"
My people of the island,
I, Captain NeMo, whose father is the sun, ruler of the universe, brings music and wisdom to lovers of beauty everywhere. You must interpret in your own mind the sounds of the NeMo performances. I appeal to the truly modern, only they should listen, and only they can understand what I have to say. Some people are born old, slobbering spectres of the past, cryptograms swollen with poison. To them no words or idea, but a single injunction: the end. I appeal to the NeMo Corps, to those who are thirsty for the new, the actual, the lively. They follow me, faithful and fearless, along the roads of the future, gloriously preceded by my, by our, intrepid brothers and sisters, the NeMo poets and painters and musicians, beautiful with violence, daring with rebellion, and luminous with the animation of genius.
The vegetating music press, record labels and show-biz scum act as snares for youth and art alike. These hot-beds of impotence, illustrious deficients, perpetuate traditionalism and combat any effort to widen the musical field. The result is prudent repression and restriction of any free and daring tendency; constant mortification of impetuous intelligence; unconditioned propping-up of imitative and incestuous mediocrity; prostitution of the great glories of the music of the past, used as insidious arms of offence against budding talent.
Labels and publishers pay artists to waste their time and intelligence in concocting and seasoning that fetid cake that feeds their fat faces. Only NeMo Corps has had the spirit and power to rebel against the traditions of music, against the deceived and spoilt public.
I, Captain NeMo, unfurl to the freedom of air and sun the red flag of NeMo Corps, calling to its flaming symbol such artists as have hearts to love and fight, minds to conceive, and brows free of cowardice. And I shout with joy at feeling myself unfettered from all the chains of tradition, doubt, opportunism and vanity. I have climbed beyond the past, and loudly summon all true artist to the flag of NeMo which will, in the coming days, conquer all of the intellectual centers of the universe.
Yours in space and time,
The identity of Capt. Nemo is known only to the bands. A partial listing:
A typical NeMoCore happening results in much noise and many dropped jaws, such as the October 27, 1999 gig at the now-defunct Cooler
in Manhattan's meat-packing district. The "Six to 20 Minutes Per Fuck Bash," as it was advertised, featured a half-dozen noise outfits, including foot
, featuring Thurston Moore
, Don Fleming
and Jim "Jimbo" Dunbar
. Like most foot gigs, it was primed for mayhem from the outset. That night, after several jam sessions on the glass sax
, foot got lost in the East Village
, driven around by a journalist from Virginia
, where they eventually wound up at Life, a tony, velvet-rope sort of club where punk
legend and noted transsexual Jayne County
happened to be spinning disks. After hooking up with former Playboy Playmate Bebe Buell
, the trio plus driver headed for the Cooler, where Buell later joined them mid-gig and all hell broke loose. Audience accounts of the riotous performance vary, but Moore recounted his somewhat clear-eyed recollections in a in an e-mail the next day to Riviera:
Foot were joined on stage by Miss Bebe Buell who wailed a la Yoko for about 5 minutes and then split cause we were freaking her out too much. (The next day that she confessed that she went home and hid under the covers of her bed until the Zoloft kicked in- mission accomplished). Foot soldiered on w/out her and at a certain point tried to get audience members to them on stage. As Jimbo walked to the edge of the stage and tried to motion people to join them, the audience just backed away from him like he was holding some big old bloody carving knife. One kid did sit on the end of the stage and noodled w/Don's Arp. He has supposedly contacted the band later saying that he has founded the first NeMocore band in Philly. Rat Bastard played my Cat for a minute but it was way too intense for him to hang. Anyway, we pretty much cleared the club and my ( and everyone else's) ears were ringing for a couple of days after the fact...
(Available through http://www.malco.net/nemocore/)
- NeMolodia 001 Foot - Foot
This noisefest is the new Metal Machine Music, only minus the snotty attitude. It's all about the love, baby.
- NeMolodia 002 This is NeMocore
This is the best introduction to the genre. A sampler featuring 21 different artists on one 41-minute track, including Thurston Moore, his brother Gene Moore, Jim Dunbar, Alan Licht, Kim Rancourt, Byron Coley and Tom Surgal, among others.
- NeMolodia 003 Don Fleming- jojo ASS RUNne
Fleming's unhinged tribute to Spirit and Todd Rundgren. I shit you not. Makes Hendrix's most outer-space flailings sound like Tiny Tim's ukelele. More Fleming infos at http://www.instantmayhem.com
- NeMolodia 004 Bastard Trout
Malcolm Riviera's Carolina outfit, which has one of the most deliberately annoying (and therefore, funny) Web pages you've ever seen at http://www.malco.net/bastardtrout/bastard.htm
http://www.malco.net/nemocore/fluxus.htm (New York Times review of foot gig.)