A Guide to No Wave

No Wave always seemed like more of an idea or a scene than a particular music aesthetic — there’s a lot of space between Liquid Liquid, ESG and Sonic Youth, for example — but there are general common denominators (detuned guitars and shouted vocals). The scene was entirely based in New York, began in the late-70s and fizzled out by the mid-80s. It got it’s name from the amazing Godard quote, “There are no new waves, there is only the ocean,” and while it was never popular, per se, the bands associated with the scene were endlessly influential, inspiring everything from hardcore to DFA-era electro pop. I’m sure a no wave purist would scoff at some of the inclusions on this list, but it’s still a good primer for the genre.