A different kind of tension – Johnny Loftus finds meaning in Detroit’s noise music scene.
“Have you ever seen Ultraman?” he asks with an inquisitive gleam in his eye. He’s referring to the classic late 1960s Japanese sci-fi TV show that made its way to American broadcasts a decade later via UHF, which for kids growing up in the ’70s was almost better than YouTube. In the tradition of the Godzilla films, Ultraman sparred regularly with outsized bugs and other galactic villains in his quest to save humanity, and usually unleashed a torrent of sound-effect havoc in the process. While watching a new Ultraman DVD collection, Brainard realized he was listening to it too.
“When the monsters fight, you hear them bashing into each other,” he says. “You hear buildings falling. A lot of monsters make electronic chirping noises, or just weird sounds from a Moog. You might hear talking or other effects going on too; it’s this sound collage that’s powerful, aggressive, sounds great and is completely improvisational.”