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No wave was a short-lived avant-garde music and art scene that emerged in the late 1970s in downtown New York City.[3][4] Reacting against punk rock's recycling of rock and roll clichés, no wave musicians instead experimented with noise, dissonance and atonality in addition to a variety of non-rock genres, while often reflecting an abrasive, confrontational, and nihilistic worldview.[5][6][7]

The term "no wave" was a pun based on the rejection of commercial new wave music.[8] The movement would last a relatively short time but profoundly influenced the development of independent film, fashion and visual art.[9]

No wave is not a clearly definable musical genre with consistent features, although it was generally characterized by a rejection of the recycling of traditional rock aesthetics, such as blues rock styles and Chuck Berry guitar riffs, in punk and new wave music.[6] Various groups drew on or explored such disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, punk rock, and the avant garde.[3] According to Village Voice writer Steve Anderson, the scene pursued an abrasive reductionism which "undermined the power and mystique of a rock vanguard by depriving it of a tradition to react against".[10] Anderson claimed that the no wave scene represented "New York's last stylistically cohesive avant-rock movement".[10]

There were, however, some elements common to most no-wave music, such as abrasive atonal sounds; repetitive, driving rhythms; and a tendency to emphasize musical texture over melody—typical of La Monte Young's early downtown music.[9] In the early 1980s, Downtown Manhattan's no wave scene transitioned from its abrasive origins into a more dance-oriented sound, with compilations such as ZE Records's Mutant Disco (1981) highlighting a newly playful sensibility borne out of the city's clash of hip hop, disco and punk styles, as well as dub reggae and world music influences.[11]

No wave music presented a negative and nihilistic world view that reflected the desolation of late 1970s downtown New York and how they viewed the larger society. Lydia Lunch noted: "The whole fucking country was nihilistic. What did we come out of? The lie of the Summer of Love into Charles Manson and the Vietnam War. Where is the positivity?"[12] The term "no wave" was probably inspired by the French New Wave pioneer Claude Chabrol, with his remark "There are no waves, only the ocean"

No wave was a short-lived avant-garde music and art scene that emerged in the late 1970s in downtown New York City.[3][4] Reacting against punk rock's recycling of rock and roll clichés, no wave musicians instead experimented with noise, dissonance and atonality in addition to a variety of non-rock genres, while often reflecting an abrasive, confrontational, and nihilistic worldview.[5][6][7]

The term "no wave" was a pun based on the rejection of commercial new wave music.[8] The movement would last a relatively short time but profoundly influenced the development of independent film, fashion and visual art.[9]

No wave is not a clearly definable musical genre with consistent features, although it was generally characterized by a rejection of the recycling of traditional rock aesthetics, such as blues rock styles and Chuck Berry guitar riffs, in punk and new wave music.[6] Various groups drew on or explored such disparate styles as funk, jazz, blues, punk rock, and the avant garde.[3] According to Village Voice writer Steve Anderson, the scene pursued an abrasive reductionism which "undermined the power and mystique of a rock vanguard by depriving it of a tradition to react against".[10] Anderson claimed that the no wave scene represented "New York's last stylistically cohesive avant-rock movement".[10]

There were, however, some elements common to most no-wave music, such as abrasive atonal sounds; repetitive, driving rhythms; and a tendency to emphasize musical texture over melody—typical of La Monte Young's early downtown music.[9] In the early 1980s, Downtown Manhattan's no wave scene transitioned from its abrasive origins into a more dance-oriented sound, with compilations such as ZE Records's Mutant Disco (1981) highlighting a newly playful sensibility borne out of the city's clash of hip hop, disco and punk styles, as well as dub reggae and world music influences.[11]

No wave music presented a negative and nihilistic world view that reflected the desolation...

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Siblings: noise rock

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