Where Is This - Swimming Knives [Violent Noise Atrocities - 2011]A tidy little tape from Where Is This, on Violent Noise Atrocities. One track on each side, both just shy of fifteen minutes; and both solid slabs of active Harsh Noise Walls. The spartan inlay tells the listener that the sounds were inspired by: Dylan Moran’s stand-up, Laurie Metcalf in “Scream 2” and the play “Shopping and Fucking” by Mark Ravenhill - none of which have crossed my path.
The first side, containing “Some Quiet Time With Debbie Salt”, starts off with a wall of throbbing bass churn, on the verge of breaking up. Periodically, there are little escapes of treble crackle; before these elements rise up and become a integral flickering. Its a very hesitant, stuttering wall. Its almost as if it were a cloaking device, created to hide something underneath; some buried sounds which become just about unrecognisable. If memory serves, there’s a scene in “Aliens” where someone lifts a floor panel, to reveal a multitude of creatures slithering over each other - thats the feel of this track. A writhing mass of reptilian limbs, made indistinct through the darkness and the adjusting of the eye. Except that instead of being a short, sharp shock; we watch a slow-burning, grainy shot. Its a very strong, burning wall; with very little sense of stasis. It ends wonderfully, with a little cough.
The second side, “I’m Sick And I’ll Never Be Well”, smashes through the speakers with a hard wall of growling bass - a really scathing entry. Submerged in this are looping, fuzzy crackles, and distant feedback squeals; again, there’s a very real sense of movement. The track builds quickly into a hail of driving rain, before a really dirty, crunchy wall emerges. This fast moving wall, with its marauding bass and juddering mid-frequencies, then races towards the end of the tape - only slowing for a short passage of treble sculpting.
This is a very solid tape - thats the keyword: “solid”. Two tracks of strong walls, carefully constructed and possessing a real depth of detail - “Some Quiet Time With Debbie Salt”, in particular. Both have a striking sense of movement - the first side due to the lack of stasis, the second due to its rampaging speed - and both have very brutal elements, centring around the bass frequencies. Its a very strong, solid release; which improves with each listen.Martin P