The Best Noise Music in 2014: The Year's Top 36 Noise Cuts

Mesa Ritual
Mesa Ritual

Here and now we arrive, whole but not necessarily unscathed, at the end of a very, very heavy year. The sounds cataloged below feel representative of the lowest psychic lows 2014 had to offer and the highest heights we were elevated to. As ever, anybody complaining that our modern era is lacking in exciting, adventurous music simply isn't looking hard enough. Dig in, and better yet, jam all this noise concurrently -- because, after all, you can.

36. Fejhed, "Drinking Spit"

Pucker up for some busted-sprinkler malevolence courtesy of this L.A.-based duo, whose conceptual cauldrons boil over with samples, raw electronics, and vertigo-inducing dissonance.

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35. A.P. Vague, "Timer Test Audio #1"

This very subtle increase in barometric pressure, from somewhere in Philadelphia, is lightly redolent of 12K minimalism at its finest.

34. Rene Kita, "Paketablage"

While there's literally no "best" place to start with Finland's Rene Kita, you may as well jump onboard with this track, which suggests a bipolar Chewbacca attempting to beatbox.

33. Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, "Drone Messiah (self-inflicted wounds)"

As busily combustible as it is mystically aquatic, "Drone Messiah" ably Cuisinarts asphalt grit and Barefoot Contessa-grade bee honey until it becomes almost impossible to tell one apart from the other. Presently based in Berlin, Germany, Marquardt is ceaselessly creative -- and keeping up with his output is challenging -- but this is arguably among the most strangely beautiful pieces to emerge this year.

32. Reverse Baptism, "Profiteer"

Baltimore's best-kept punk-noise secret vents a few liquid ounces of spleen, as only it can.

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