_NW free downloadable compilation is OUT on Coffin Birth!!!
This dual compilation was originally conceived as an experiment to explore a new direction sometimes spoken of as Ambient Noise Wall, or ANW, emerging from within the dark corners of our tiny scene of Wall Noise practitioners and listeners. This term was seemingly created as a sort of antonym to the prevailing term Harsh Noise Wall, or HNW (a nomenclature employed even in the name of my own humble cemetary).
The use of these two terms, with their two opposing descriptors right up front, began to make me consider the true meaning of what is indeed "harsh" and, by contrast, what is indeed "ambient." Are these terms truly opposites in the context of sound art? Are they merely fancier euphemisms for "loud" and "soft"? Due to the relative newness and consistent evolution of the genre of Wall Noise, any conclusion I may have arrived at would be a personal one that would do little to answer these questions in an objective manner.
I do not have the hubris to claim to be the first to attempt an experiment similar to this. Many of you are likely to be familiar with the well-established and ongoing Infinity Series, the brainchild of James Killick (gracing this compilation as Small Hours) or the now almost revered Wallwhores tape set put out by Sweden's HarshFuckedForLife nearly two years ago. Why do it again? I'm attempting a format that may present the aural opinions of the participants in a manner which may be more conducive to direct comparison and judgement.
Each of the participating artists (some sent in submissions unsolicited due to an interest in the concept, others were selected and contacted by me personally based on the content of their previous recordings) was asked to prepare two short recordings: one that they would consider "harsh," another that they would consider "ambient." This method would make the artists intentions to specifically define these terms in relation to each other. Also, by asking the artists to prepare the two tracks somewhat simultaneously, any natural evolution of the artist's work is removed from the equation. The first "harsh" group of tracks is presented on disc one, the second "ambient" group on disc two.
The difference between the two tracks presented by the individual artists is at turns subtle (Smrznik, Horrible Mess) or quite drastic (Clive Henry, Small Hours). A few "ambient" tracks come off as more loud and intense (Carrion Black Pit, Rééducation) than some of the "harsh" tracks (Ghost, Stoned To Death). Some have created ambient tracks featuring lush rumbling (Sleep, Segment Aura), others a light crackling and squealing (Dead Body Collection), others a gentle hiss (Static Mantra, Worthless), others a warm, almost tonal resonance (Clive Henry, Smrznik, Stoned To Death). Many have combined these various elements and some have done something else entirely. The tracks on the first disc may seem a bit more similar to each other, but even the most vehement wallhater would seem incredulous claiming that tracks by Scant, Worthless, and Nascitari "all sound the same," an inaccurate critque often used to dismiss the style. Suffice to say, these concepts of "harsh" and "ambient" mean vastly different things in the minds of these artists.
Regarding my own interpretation of the results, I feel I have discovered something beyond my original semantic inquiry. You may notice that the majority of the projects featured on this compilation have only been in existence for the past two years or so, and some as little as a few months. While I can't speak for anyone else, I don't think any of these projects represent any kind of "Ambient Noise Wall" movement or that one even exists, really. Instead, this is a snapshot of the present and future of Wall Noise which is increasing in its innovation & variety with walls of all sizes, textures and colors, pushing against the old Wall and stretching it into something new.
Of course, a wiser listener than me will approach this compilation with a less analytical mindset. They will simply tune in, let go, and ride these walls to wherever they go. Wall Noise does not speak loudest to the intellect but rather to the soul in need of transcendence, transformation or transportation to a vast, engulfing environment of sound. Enjoy!
by THE CARETAKER
ARTISTS: Carrion Black Pit, Clive Henry, Dead Body Collection, Ghost, Gluttoness, Horrible Mess, Nascitari, Rééducation, Scant, Segment Aura, Sleep, Small Hours, Smrznik, Static Mantra, Stoned To Death, Vilgoc, Worthless.
Disc one features each project's take on a "harsh" wall, while disc two includes their interpretation of an "ambient" wall. Art and verbose liner notes by yours truly. Available in your choice of FLAC or high-quality VBR mp3 here: