The Walls Of War [2012-02-21]Anonymous is one of the most mysterious & secretive HNW projects in existence. Literally nothing is known about the projects identity, origin or location. The project has thus far released three releases on Uk based Sweet Solitude- all three releases are based around lengthy, fixed & brutal walled noise attacks, and each release is themed around a WWII battle or atrocities. After many weeks of pestering emails to Sweet Solitude home base, the labels runner James Killick (Small Hours, Love Katy & Carrie ) finally got Anonymous to agree to give me an email interview. The questions were sent to a fairly plain hotmail email(so it could be anywhere in the world) & after the questions were answered, I was told not to contact the email address again…..as it had been used purely for this interview & no other emails would be answered at this address. So please find below an extremely rare interview with this very elusive & mysterious HNW artists.
m[m]: I know you wish to keep your identity & background secret, but can
you give us any idea about the projects origins, your location & how
long you have been creating noise?
An:Genocide and war came to be the defining events of the 20th Century. Many people are not aware of the events I document in my releases, and it is my goal to create awareness and recreate in HNW form, the sights and sounds of these horrific events. For all of these events, it is essential that we ‘Never Forget’.
An:I prefer to keep information about myself to a minimum. I have been creating noise for at least 10 years (under many names), and geographically I am based in Europe. That is all I am prepared to say at the moment.
m[m]: What is it that interest and intrigues you about WWII battles &
atrocities, & when did this interest first manifest it self?
An:I am interested in learning (and trying to understand) about the evil that humankind has unleashed upon itself. In particular I am interested in the Holocaust and the two World Wars. This is a long standing interest that I have had since childhood. I guess I have always been drawn to the darker aspects of life. If I am going to pick one particular turning point, it was when I watched ‘Night & Fog’ by Alain Resnais. A truly unforgettable experience, that made me want to find out more.
m[m]: Can you tell us a bit about what equipment & source materials you
used to create your ‘walls’, and has this changed or developed over
the three releases you’ve put out thus far?
An:I use a very simple set up to create my walls. It usually involves one source (an old radio) into two delays (normally DOD Death Metal, and Big Muff) this then goes into the mixer. I prefer not to interfere with the wall too much and once I have found the sound I am looking for, I leave it to record.
m[m]: Can you tell us a little bit about how you decided on each of the
three themes you’ve covered thus far for your three release to date:
Kulmhof, Tarawa & Auschwitz?
An:Kulmhof (or what it more widely known as ‘Chelmno’), was one of the first sites where the Nazis experimented with poisonous gas. Having experimented on the mentally ill (and disabled), they found that Carbon Monoxide was particularly effective. They modified some vans, into mobile killing centres, and at ‘Kulmhof’ they murdered thousands of Jews, in what came to be known as the ‘Final Solution’. In my wall, I wanted to re-create the suffocating feeling of having your life stolen from you by noxious gas.
An:Tarawa is a not very widely known battle that took place in the Pacific during WW2. It was a key staging point for the US, and the Japanese defended it until the last man. It was 3 days of some of the most brutal fighting that took place in the entire conflict. Casualties were high and images of the conflict changed the US perception of war at home. I wanted to re-create the terror of battle, in my walls for this release, and hopefully I achieved this goal.
An:My latest release ‘Auschwitz-Birkenau’ is about the Nazis factory of death where at least a million souls lost their lives. It started as a concentration camp, but soon evolved into an extermination centre. My new release documents this evolution. Each CD represents a different phase of the extermination process. From experiments with Zyklon B at the ‘Little Red House’, to the full machinery of death in Crematoriums I – V. The walls are unrelenting, harsh and unchanging, which hopefully reflects the horror and the mechanisation of the killing process, as the war progressed.
m[m]: Are there any particular books, films or documentaries that you
think are effective at portraying the reality of WWII battles &
An:There are a number of excellent books on the subject. If you are interested in Auschwitz and The Holocaust, I would recommend:
The Years Of Extermination: Nazi Germany & The Jews 1939-45 by Saul Friedlander
Anatomy Of The Auschwitz Death Camp By Yisrael Gutman & Michael Berenbaum (Eds.)
On WWII I would recommend:
Moral Combat’ By Michael Burleigh
As for films and documentaries, I would recommend:
Shoah By Claude Lanzmann (a devastating 8hr document of the Holocaust)
Night & Fog By Alain Resnais
‘Band Of Brothers’ & ‘The Pacific’ – When Hollywood gets it right, they do it perfectly, and these TV series’ are near perfect.
m[m]: Have you ever thought of putting out a dvd release mixing your
‘walls’ with war footage & news reels?
An:This is a very good idea, and one I shall investigate in future releases.
m[m]: Why have you decided to remain anonymous?
An:I admire ‘Vomir’ for his HNW purity stance. I want to totally remove any personality from my walls by remaining anonymous. By being anonymous, the only thing left to focus on is the Wall itself and the historical theme that accompanies each release.
m[m]: Whats next for the project release wise?
An:I have many ideas for future releases. In the future I want to concentrate on long form walls (2 – 3 hours long, perhaps longer). Thematically I am going to look at World War One for my next release.
Thanks to Anonymous for their time & effort with interview, and thanks to James Killick for making the interview possible & putting up with my pestering emails!. All three Anonymous where put out on Sweet Solitude records & there webpage is here.Roger Batty