Before we move on to the ‘walls’ themselves we must first talk about the packaging of this two disc set, as I think it’s one of the most pro-looking and well thought out bits of packaging I’ve ever seen come out of the HNW scene. First off you have a bronze metallic outer folder which features a folded over strip of stuck down red crape paper that has all the projects names printed in a mass in black ink, when you open up the folder you see the back of the red paper made to a point and featuring a hand number(mines 16/100). Then inside you have four oversized bubblegum like cards which are made from the same bronze metallic card as the outer sleeve, and each features a single image that relates to each of the four projects. Also inside we have a four colour folder that holds the two pro printed CDRs. The four colour folder very fittingly features a picture of a brick wall on both sides of it, along with the track details on the inner side and the disks themselves also feature four coloured printed faces that also feature the brick wall picture.
So onto the ‘walls’ with-in….up first on disc one we have a thirty three minute track from Norway’s Hour Of the Wolf, which is one of the HNW projects of highly prolific norse noise head Andreas Brandal(Avmakt,Flesh Coffin, Drevne Bolesti, and Museums of Sleep). The track on offer here is entitled “Screw”, and it starts out with ten seconds of weird, wavering and warbling electronics before jumping head first into a raging 'wall' of junk metal fed noise. By the minute mark things start to get a bit more defined and less completely overloaded, as you can make out the walls make-up. And it's built from juddering, layered and shifting mix of roaring ‘n’ sliding thick static, buried steel pot like banging’s, crunchy and lengthy mid-tone smarts, rumble bound batterings’, and subtle yet buried junk metal details. The track remains hellishly thick and brutal through-out, yet the mass of sound very aptly and enjoyable moves along and shifts over the tracks length.
Next up on disc one we have a thirty minute and thirty second untitled track from Danish project I Dreamt Of Her Beautiful Tentacles. The ‘wall’ is built around a meaty, crusty and slightly wind whipped constant judder which is mixed with a smaller element that either sounds like a revolving wheel, a constant metallic crackling, or a persistent yet not heavy rain type tonality. These two elements are mixed together in a most entrancing, appealing yet brutal encasing manner, and to my ears there quite a hurt and slightly melancholic feel at the base of the track. The ‘wall’ remains in a fairly repetitive and locked state through-out, yet it mangers to keep you tightly locked into it’s tone textural wall for it’s full lenght.
Over onto disc two and first up we have a forty minute track from the highly prolific and grimly intense Serbian HNW project Dead Body Collection. This tracks entitled “Forgive Me...For Wounds On Ourselves”, and it finds DBC creating a wall that mixers together layers of seemingly intensifying and accelerating judders. There’s seems to be two layers of nasty bass judder and one layer of more crusty and crude static bound noise present here. Theses elements are fed together into a mighty and head swelling seared ‘wall’ of noise, which feels like it keeps expanding, and get more and urgent, intense and seared as it goes along. The track at first pins you down then slow but surely sucks you deeper and deeper into it’s intensifying thickness and rage. Again the walls structure remains fairly unmoving, yet DBC skilfully makes you feel there is movement and accelerating with his very clever mixing of tones- the only major movement I can pick up here is when the bass judders become more brooding and drilling around the nine and a half minute mark. So another great and urgent slice of wall-making from DBC.
Lastly on disc two we have Italian based project Indch Libertine, and they offer up a thirty minute and eleven second track entitled “Jason Swift”. And this ‘wall’ is a mixture seared white-out static, and rumbling or constantly pouring caustic drone matter. These two elements are fed together in a bleak and grey torrent of unrelenting sound. From time to time there’s a very subtle shift, off-pitch pattern or sudden textural wash appearing in the constant roar- but these moments are fairly fleeting and with-in seconds or minutes your back on the same stark yet very morrish walled noise path. So this is a great stark, intense yet addictive slice of HNW to end this great collection on.
All told this is a wholly reward collection of long form HNW works from some of Europe’s most respected HNW names. It’s also a wonderful packaged and put together bit of packaging too, and best of all this there are 100 copies made of this collection- which hopefully means this will spread the HNW a bit further than the normal scene and into the wider experimental music market. Simply put a must have in you’re a fan of the HNW genre, and a great start point for those curious about this most extremely yet often highly rewarding sonic genre.
by Roger Batty