I’ve got my headphones on, listening to Electric Peekaboo from the 1993 Merzbow record Brain Ticket Death, trying to make sense of the sounds I hear. The track begins with a one-second blast of sound, which shifts sharply downward in pitch before abruptly cutting out, as if taking a breath before releasing the long, harsh, continuous scream of Noise that follows. Sounds are split between the left and right speakers, creating two separate but interrelated layers of texture; other sounds are quickly panned between the two speakers to create a sense of movement in the flat landscape of the stereo field. Filters sweep across the distorted sound field, rippling through a stream of harsh frequencies. Beneath these timbral changes, there is another loop of sound, which repeats a two-second fragment of muted static. The distorted feedback begins to break up as some amplifier in the chain reaches the limit of its capacity. A microphonic feedback is introduced in the background, and the sound begins to short out as a thin hissing sound momentarily fills both channels. A new loop lurches into both channels at once, emitting a spitting chatter for two seconds and then submerging into a low hum. A vocal sound, like a moan, appears underneath the layers of feedback; it is unclear to me whether this is actually the sound of a human voice or some resonance created in the feedback process, or by a filter, or another pedal. Suddenly the Noise just ends, leaving me suspended in the buzzing stillness. A final burst blasts through the system, as if I’ve been unplugged from myself. But none of this really describes it at all: the overwhelming feeling of it, the shocking effect of the transitions between sounds, the shiver that runs up your spine when the Noise cuts out. It’s been three minutes, forty seconds—or a decade of listening, depending on how you look at it—and I am still struggling to hear what is going on.