The Northeast Ohio noise duo visits Columbus as part of Midwest Noise Weekend

In the early days of Moth Cock, the improv-heavy noise duo’s music was less tethered. Over the years, though, the pair has started to embrace a degree of structure, however loose, constructing slippery, experimental freak-outs atop an increasingly stable foundation.

“I think we hit a point in 2008 or 2009 where we were doing — I don’t want to call it standard noise stuff, but there was a lot of static and feedback — and we hit a point where that started to feel too safe and easy to do,” said Pat Modugno recently by phone from Kent, Ohio, where the duo is based. “I don’t think it was a conscious decision, but I think at that point it started slowly developing to where we were writing these little mini-songs.”

These mini-songs are blown into veritable noise symphonies on Moth Cock’s most recent album, 0-100 At the Speed of the Present (Hausu Mountain). Witness the beautifully alliterative “Persevering Power of Pulp Paperbacks,” which opens slowly amid uneasy squiggles of extruded brass (Modugno’s bandmate, Doug Gent, plays saxophone and clarinet through effects, while Modugno builds sulfurous electronic fields that bubble and belch like a geyser-filled Yellowstone) and gradually transforms into an ominously buzzing, weirdly beautiful soundscape over the course of nearly 10 minutes. The eight-plus minute “Let Us Share a Coke,” in turn, combines mewing brass, low, steady drums and squalls of electronic feedback in a droning, eerily hypnotic track that somehow feels both structured and yet completely unpredictable.

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Modugno attributes part of the pair’s evolution to his obsession with hip-hop production, which led to his purchase of a sampler, an electronic instrument he described as “a virtual drummer.” “Since then, we’re doing more pauses in our [live] set where it’s like, ‘OK, next song,’ instead of this weird segue into another part,” he said.

At the same time, Moth Cock has fiercely maintained both its experimental roots and its individuality. “We’ve always made a conscious decision to be the only thing on the bill that sounds like us,” Modugno said.

This has remained the case whether the pair is opening for Cleveland rock band Cloud Nothings (drummer Jayson Gerycz is a fan; the band’s audience was not, greeting Moth Cock with folded arms and annoyed indifference) or playing as part of Midwest Noise Weekend, which takes place at Dirty Dungarees on Friday, Aug. 30, and the Summit on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Modugno traces his love of more out-there sounds to teenage explorations, where his Radiohead fandom led him to Bjork, which eventually led him to more underground electronica. “I would make smarter friends who would be like, ‘Oh, you’re into this? You’ll probably like this,’” he said of his introduction to noise bands like Black Dice, Wolf Eyes and the Skaters.

The problem was that he didn’t. At least not at first.

“I remember hearing [Wolf Eyes’ 2004 album] Burned Mind for the first time when I was like 18 or something and being like, ‘Whoa, this is really hard to listen to,’” Modugno said. “But in the same sense, I was mega-impressed it was a physical release. … It kind of blew my mind, like, ‘Wow, there’s this whole audience of people who want to listen to a CD that isn’t really music.’

“I was always into abstract art and things like that, so I would keep listening to it, and then after maybe two years went by it was like, ‘Oh, wait. This is brilliant music.’”