BEST LOCAL NOISE BAND (1998)

Fifteen years after the Hüskers' noise grail Metal Circus, most (maybe all) variations on the Whitey Guitar Squall theme seem entirely played out. But ambient-noisists Ousia don't play guitars; they twaddle with knobs. And their scatterbrained electronic drones weld blankets of barely audible breakbeats to song structures that are as mutable as chance. Their debut, Why Is That a Four?, may be the quietest, most elusive noise candy of the year, but at this late date in the history of blurt, quiet, elusive noise might be the best noise going.

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