Ende Tymes Experimental Music Fest Brings the Noise to Bushwick
BUSHWICK — Japanese noise artist Astro just has to twist the knobs and flip the switches on his synthesizer, and Bob Bellerue feels like he enters another reality.
"It becomes this enveloping sonic experience," said Bellerue, a musician and festival organizer who lives in Bushwick. "It's evocative of a psychedelic genre."
So Bellerue enlisted Astro — and dozens of other pioneering musicians, including artists from Switzerland, London, and Quebec — to take part a four-day festival in his neighborhood next week.
The second annual Ende Tymes Festival of Noise and Experimental Liberation hits the nonprofit creative space Secret Project Robot on Melrose Street with acts starting next Thursday. Additional video and music acts will perform at the Outpost Artist Resources space in Ridgewood.
“You really have to be present with the music, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You have to pay attention to what’s going on because there’s no framework,” said Bellerue, 43, who first fell for the noise genre in 1987 while in college at UC San Diego.
“There are people who dance, but mostly people just stand there and throb.”
Bellerue, a noise artist who is currently touring the Midwest, has invited musicians including Sudden Infant, work/death, Sickness and Grasshopper to the festival. His own act, Diablo, is part of the Saturday lineup at Secret Project Robot.
“I’m just driven to produce an event that present artists I love and respect,” said Bellerue, who has hosted festivals for years.
The name of his End Tymes festival is both a play on people’s doomsday prophecies — including the Mayan calendar’s end-of-the-world prediction in 2012 — and an attempt to make people focus on the moment.
“It’s always like we’re living at the end of time — we’re right here right now, and there’s nothing else,” he said. “People are living ahead or in the past, but with noise you have to be living in the moment.”
Bellerue, who held the event last year at Silent Barn (which since has closed), described his friends’ sounds with a kind of awe, like the artist Work/death, whom he just visited in Providence, Rhode Island.
“He has blistering wild passages, and he’ll be singing but won’t necessarily use the mic,” said Bellerue of work/death. “It’s just about this passionate experience — it’s almost emo, but way more savage and deep.”
Bellerue reminisced about work/death’s recent “mindblowing set that was totally amazing and two-thirds through it went to a whole other level. Those are the kind of things you just go, 'yeah.'”
The festival runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thurs., May 17, through Sat., May 20, at Secret Project Robot and Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights at Outpost. Weekend passes cost $45; nightly tickets cost $10 at Outpost and $15 at Secret Project Robot.