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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

A View From Nihil - The Eternal Present (Infinity series Part 8) [Sweet Solitude - 2011]

“The Eternal Present” is the 8th volume in the Infinity series- an open ended and identical artwork based collection of releases put out by Uk based Sweet Solitude label. Each volume sees a different world wide HNW act attempting ambient and experimental forms of walled noise. A View From Nihil is deeply nihilistic yet often creative & inventive HNW project that’s all the work of Irishman Andrew McQuaid, who now resides in Scotland. The  project has put out releases ever so often since it started in 2007, and really is one of the least prolific of euro HNW scene…through what ever the  project puts out is usually something rather special & this release is no different.

The release offers up two tracks “The Nature of Anything Is Its Own Momentary Stasis and Destruction” which slides in just under the twenty three minute mark. And the extremely lengthy titled “Beyond The Farthest Vision, Crowding Outer-Space, The Universes Come And Go, An Innumerable Host. Like Delicate Boats They Float On The Fathomless Pure Waters That Form The Body Of Vishnu. Out Of Every Hair-Pore Of That Body A Universe Bubbles And Breaks. Will You Presume To Count Them? Will You Number The Gods In All Those Worlds – The Worlds Present And The Worlds Past?” which also has the longer running length of two tracks at just under the forty six minute mark.

The first track starts out in very simply stark & hopeless manner with just a buzzing single tone feedback drone. By around the minute mark McQuaid starts to rub out this taut static judder from the feedback buzz. As the track progresses McQuaid slowly but surely builds & intensifies the tracks air by subtle extending & growing the juddering tonality- yet the 'wall' still remains in fairly strict & grim constraints. The original feedback buzzing ‘n’ throb is still there, but it sounds more urgent & oppressive in it's feel. As the track moves towards it’s eight & ninth minutes the  juddering texture seems to become more crusty & crunchy and you feel the whole ‘wall’ might break it restrains, yet it never does . At the 10.40 mark the track returns once more to the original feedback buzz, and once again over the next ten minutes or so McQuaid skilfully & subtle adds on depth & tension to the ‘wall’ with controlled fields of textured static churn ‘n’ hack- this second rise is not as tense or as pressing as the first, but it’s still damn effective. All told the track is great example of controlled & masterful static texturing with wonderful build then receding sonic tension.

The second track starts out with a thin matt of stuck, juddering & crisp static- the static is laid out in a tense & irritable yet controlled form, and it’s seemingly getting faster & faster as the track goes on with it almost feeling like it’s falling into it's self. By around the 7th minute I’m sure an extra layer of churning 'n' rubbing static has been added to the base of the track, yet the ‘wall’ still remains very constrained & focused in it's structure. By the just over the ninth minute a much more pronounced & loud roll of juddering 'n' crunchy static has been added to the ‘wall’, and the tracks sound seems to deepen & become more surrounding & detailed. As this new texture continues it's path new larger & more crisp static patterns seem slowly mesh & knit together to create this amazingly captivating static map of texture, which just seems to pull you in deeper & deeper the longer it goes on. There’s a real kaleidoscopic or sonic magic eye  feel to the ‘wall’, and ones mind can seemingly make out all manner of expanding, morphing & subtle altering textured patterns; but of course this could all just be a trick of McQuaid’s clever & moorish ‘wall making’. The remainder of the track finds McQuaid keeping the ‘wall’ in same the depth & form, yet as already mentioned there seems to be all manner of textured sonic shapes shifting through the ‘walls’ sonic map.

Once again“The Eternal Present” finds McQuaid pushing the HNW genre in some very originaly & creative places. I’m not sure if you could strictly say all that’s on offer here is AHNW through there are moments of nihilistic & stark static ambenice/ feed-back here, but you could certainly say this is creative or progressive HNW.  So all told it’s another very rewarding release from this project & with out doubt one of the HNW releases of 2011. Sadly this is now long, long out of print, but you can still download it from the projects bandcamp page here

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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