Die Reitenden Leichen - Post Wall [Monolithische Aktion - 2012]The first thing you see with this release, is a very professional and stylish inlay: and the sounds within follow suit. The outer of the j-card is incredibly striking, with mysterious black and white imagery and very effective use of fonts and word placing. Turning it over, the inside presents an eye-mangling pattern; which illustrates very simply the hallucinogenic and meditative effects of some Harsh Noise Walls.
The first side of the tape, “Postmodern Voidism” is a strong, surging wall. It starts off powerfully, fast and spitting; before shifting after a few minutes into some very fizzy treble textures with speeding bass underneath. Its like the thinnest layer of ice, with an abyss lurking below. After a brief section of trebly near-whiteout, the rest of the track builds arounds variations of the textures it began with. It pulls back a little, then returns with a harsh bass scramble; bursts into splintering treble, then returns with more of an emphasis on mid-frequency crunch. Its a piece of very effective and careful sculpting.
In contrast to that relentless battering, the reverse side (“Varpour Skyscrapings”) starts off incredibly delicately; with very minimal and slight crackling. If there is such a thing as fairy-crackle, this is it. A wonderfully elegant sound: foregrounded, large-grained crackle, with a background of constant, somewhat tonal rattling. This has small swells, as well as sometimes diminishing to near silence; before building and breaking into more of a drone than a wall. Scratchy wall elements underneath a shimmering, empty drone; with a serious and monolithic sub-bass tone. After this, the wall elements become a rather weak, if still surging, wall; which was a disappointing end to such a great track for me.
This is a really great, intelligent tape; with exemplary wall-making. “Postmodern Voidism” is relentlessly brutal, whilst still finding space to push and pull the textures. “Varpour Skyscrapings”, on the other hand, displays some exquisitely delicate textural control; as well as the interesting and effective use of massive bass tones. The overall effect of this second side is rather “digital” and cold, but in the best way. If it wasn’t for the rather weak ending, I’d think I’d hail this as a masterpiece. Regardless, this really is required listening for anyone into HNW: Die Reitenden Leichen was a new name to me, but one I’ll keep tabs on now…Martin P