What I always liked about Japanese noise is its ability to blot out any expectations one might have about barrages of feedback, distortion, and abused electronics actually being music. Well beyond cultural and aesthetic considerations, this particular noise functions as a bludgeoning entity, and in doing so, generally abolishes language's attempt at explaining it. Fortunately David Novak does a fine job of traipsing through the fringes of Japanese culture and hence illuminating this intensely analogue bodily astringent. I, for one became interested in noise when I stumbled upon an underground cassette culture that sought to circumvent the usual means of production and distribution. My main contact turned out to be none other than Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) who was just beginning to amass his immense catalogue of cassette releases. He became my entry point, a kind and generous soul who just happened to be creating some of the harshest sounds ever! This book serves a similar function, but with greater authority and a broader view (the US scene is also explored). Its wildly comprehensive exploration of Japanese noise (practitioners, methodology, anti-aesthetic and history) may be more of an immersion into noise than we would ever need.... nah!