INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL MUSIQUE ACTUELLE VICTORIAVILLE
Fabrizio Gilardino

May 14-18 1998

Since 1965 when it was a simple "kazoo band" THE NIHILIST SPASM BAND, refered to as "the world's first noise band", has passionately devoted itself to improvised noise, liberated from any clear reference or convention. They are therefore contemporaries of AMM, Musica Elettronica Viva and the first groups linked to Berlin's Freie Musik Produktion.

Based in London, Ontario, the band is made of six gentlemen in their sixties: two visual artists, a physician, a designer, a retired English professor and a retired librarian. Since 1974, THE NIHILIST SPASM BAND has regularly played every monday night at London's Forest City Gallery. They have performed in Canada and Europe , always for small crowds of unconditional fans that quickly transformed the group into a sort of a cult band alongside other noise legends such as Controlled Bleeding, Merzbow, Borbetomagus, Voice Crack.

Recently, thanks to the devotion of Japanese musician Jojo Hiroshige, a member of the noise combo Hijokaidan and owner of Alchemy Records (that reissued on compact disc almost all THE NIHILIST SPASM BAND'S previous vinyl releases as well as their Live in Japan, recorded in March 1996), the Canadian band has been discovered by a brand new audience. They toured the United States for the first time last year (including one sold-out performance at the prestigious Knitting Factory).

NIHILIST SPASM BAND's sonic assaults - punctuated by WILLIAM EXLEY's declamatory texts and vocal prowess (based on a vast array of invented or modified instruments, such as the electric kazoos, Pratt-a-various, a sort of mutant violin conceived by ART PRATTEN, or HUGH McINTYRE's three-and-a-half-string electric bass), are a crossing between a Dada soiree, a Fluxus performance and one of the most enraged free jazz concerts that you can imagine. Sure to be a devastating show.