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Various Harsh Noise Wall Artists - Giallo [Urashima - 2010]

Giallo movies and HNW have always made great bedfellows; Giallo movies with there almost uniformed killers in their black gloves, long coats and shadowy hats carrying out brutal and sadistic murders, and HNW with it’s often uniformed and repetitive brutal sound and it’s sleazy, dark and murderous undertones. This four way vinyl split nicely celebrates the union between the brutal movie form and brutal sonic form that is giallo influenced HNW.

As always with anything put out by the great Italian Urashima label the package is something a bit special. This time around instead of the normal black card and sliver ink sleeve we have a fitting yellow card and black ink sleeve- giallo means yellow in Italian and it streams from the cheap paperbacks with yellow covers which influenced the early movies in the genre.  And inside the sleeve you find the labels black label on black vinyl, along with a yellow card and black ink inlay card that on one side discusses the links between giallo and HNW and on the other side the track listing and its hand number. Also in the sleeve is a photograph still of the iconic image of a women looking terrorized through a razor slashed sheet which of course comes from Dario Argento 1980’s giallo classic Tenbrae.

First up on the first side we have a just shy of nine minute track from An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter which of course is: Richard Ramirez(Werewolf Jerusalem, Black Leather Jesus, ect) & Cristiano Renzoni (Alo Girl & runner of the Urashima label). Their track is entitled “La Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo” which was the original Italian title for Mario Bava influential and genre defining early giallo movie 1963’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much or The Evil Eye, as it was know in the US.  The film featured American cult actor John Saxon in one of his first roles in Italian cinema, and the plot followed an female tourist who while visting Rome witnesses a murder and then gets tangled up in a series of bloody murders carred about by the Alphabet Killer.  So onto the track itself, the pairs ‘wall’ finds boorish and brooding bass judder meeting taut and locked static jitters. It brings to my mind a large killer hold down his victim and liberally slashing away at his victims bare and goose bumped flesh. The track ends with a few seconds of movie sample featuring an argument between a man and women over dramatic music.

The Second track on side two is a nine minute track from Japanese/ American HNW project Forced Orgasm- the project offer up another nine minute track entitled “Cat O' Nine Tails”. The track takes it’s title from second giallo movie by Dario Argento from 1971 which told the story of a newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist who try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer. The ‘wall’ on offer here finds a long morse code or stop/ start like roaring bass tone thats mixed with churning and slicing static uniformity. It all makes for a great tense, edgy and paranoid track which brings to my mind a victim running through a busy tube station trying to hide from a killer in the crowd, but each time they stop they are slashed or stabbed by the black gloved killer.


Over onto side two and we have a just over eight minute track from USA HNW project …..Massacre which is of made up of  j. cadle(whose also in Foul and Oasis Of Fear, as well as runs the excellent Bane records) and Sam Stoxen(whose also in Baculum, Grain Belt, White Plague and runs the excellent Phage tapes label). The pairs track is entitled “Vacanze Per Un Massacro” and it takes it’s name from 1980 Italian moive Madness whose plot finds A husband and wife going to their country cottage along with the wife's younger, university-student sister with whom the husband is having a secret affair. They run into an escaped convict  who has hidden a cache of money in the cottage. The convict gets the upper-handover the husband and holds the trio hostage, having his way with both of the women;- to me it does’nt sound very giallo like it sounds more an cheap Italian riff on Last house on the left type capture and torture movies. Anyway onto the sonics which are certainly HNW, the pair offer up a ‘wall’ of rolling bass judder that has skipping and jittering static running over the top of it. The static elements keep flowing over the judder in nice waves of brutal texture. To me this track brings to mind some hours after a murder has taken place, and the victims naked body is hung up side down to drain. Flies are just start to buzz and settle on the victim’s Orifices’ and many cuts. The track starts to get quite enclosing and enraged towards the end giving the feeling like the killers get ready to kill once again.

Lastly on side two we have a just under nine minute track from Naked Girl Killed In The Park which brings together Richard Ramirez & Thomas Mortigan( also of Black Leather Jesus & RU-486). The pair offer up a track entitled “Mystère (High Class Murder)” which after a brief scan of the net doesn’t seem to be a movie title, so I’m guessing this is just a genreal tribute to the giallo form. The track starts with a movie sample of two women talking about something been stolen, then seemingly one women attacks and the other and kills her. Then we jump into a very rapid, battering, crude and thick textural judder that seems to have this weird and barren horn texture of muffled soundtrack music tone runing deep under it. This track brings to mind a crazed and enraged fight between two people, with one person punching and battering the other over and over again, you can pick out nice sweeps or bands of juddering and crusty static sweeping through the track. The track finishers off with another  movie sample that takes in taunt and shrill bass and string sound tracking, and the sound of a man killing a women- a very fitting end really.

So all in all this is a very nicely presented collection of giallo influenced HNW, with each project offering up their own distinctively nasty yet atmospheric tribute to the black gloved and bloody razor genre that is the Italian Giallo moive.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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