A View From Nihil - Primordial Sea [Void Seance - 2011]
A very simple and elegantly packaged cdr, here, from Void Seance. A printed, brown card wallet; containing a black paper wallet with the cdr and two inserts - one, a blurred image of the sun and sea, and the other a boldly designed information sheet. All very simple, but achieving a classy, professional look.
A View From Nihil presents us with one long track, just shy of an hour. It starts with some nice, crunchy, mid-frequency crackling; but within a couple of minutes introduces an interesting new element. This development is a subdued, modulating drone: it sounds like a howling, sub-bass wind - curiously, it also reminds the ear of a tram or tube train, accelerating and braking. This low drone rises and falls in pitch, whilst also swaying from speaker to speaker; it gathers mass and distortion, until it finally breaks open after the eight minute mark. Thereafter the piece is the intertwining of three essential layers: the massive, see-sawing, clipping bass drone; a thin layer of trebly crackle and a more active, wandering thread of crunchy noise. Seconds before the halfway point, the sound is pared back to the drone; which continues to slowly swing across the stereo field. It patiently builds again, adding layers of textured noise; though, in contrast to the first half, there is a greater sense of detail and exploration. There are a few sections of nice, spitting crackles; but the overall sound is very much dominated by the swellings of the bass drone. In the final few minutes of “Primordial Sea”, all of the “noise” elements drop out, leaving the low drone to reverberate till it fades out.
I can imagine that this album might ruffle a few Harsh Noise Wall purists’ feathers; since, on reflection, the drone elements possibly predominate the wall ones. Indeed, one criticism I might make is that the crunchy wall textures are sometimes a little too dry and tight, a little flat; or rather, not imbued with vibrancy or energy - though whether this is down to the see-saw motions of the drone distracting from the wall movement, or simply the tightness itself, I’m not sure. But it’s a monolithic recording: the bassy drone adds unbelievable weight to the track, making it sound colossal and epic; and when it does lessen, the crackle achieves a weightlessness. It almost seems to dissipate into the air.Martin P