Clive Henry - XIII [Vagary Records - 2012]“XIII” finds this progressive & creative British wall noise artist offering up a wonderful hypnotic & detailed mixture of HNW & ANW. Clive Henry is with out doubt one of the most rewarding & original wall noise artists working in the world wide scene today, and this new CDR is yet more proof of this.
Before we get onto the two tracks with-in we must talk about the rather nice, pro-looking & effective artwork/ packaging of this release. The pro-pressed CDR comes in a DVD case which features great multi-coloured psychedelic artwork that seems to take in a inversed & faded female figure walking along an Egyptian hieroglyphic like wall which is made up of psychedelic coloured sperm. Inside the DVD case along with the CDR is twenty page booklet which features a tripped-out & kaleidoscope black & white cover that takes in overlaid pictures a hippy looking women. Inside the booklet there are a selection of texts, song lyric quotes, & poems about finding the perfect partner, love, desire, sex, and male/ female relationship.
Moving onto the sonic side of the release- we have two untitled tracks on offer here, the first takes up the lion share of the release at just over the forty five minute mark, and the second comes in at just under the eight a half minute mark.
The first track starts out in very much ANW territory, with a locked mixer of two tones- firstly there’s a rotating ‘n’ slightly crackling ball bearing spinning type tone, then secondly there’s a semi distant churning/ whistling tone. Henry feeds both of these elements into a very entrancing wall that has quite a wishful almost organic feel to it. By around the 10th minute the ball bearing element has taken on a more pelting-cold- rain-on-plastic- roof type feel, with the whistling tone been more grainy & gritty in it’s feel. By the 11th minute Henry has added into a distant flowing water like crackle, as the track progresses on he adds in first a few jittering cricket like textures, and next a circular wheel like grating texture- at this point the detailed ‘wall’ seems to be all around you, becoming quite intense yet still organic/ hypnotic. At just under the 18th minute he strips back to just a spiralling wheel like repetition & skipping spoke or ball bearing like texture- which he weaves out into a extremely entrancing textual pattern. Next at just under the 21 minute mark he adds in this muffled & distant female soul singing sample which moves over the stereo channel, casing a great disorientating feel- as this elements feeds & blurs into it’s self the wheel/spoke element seems to be getting faster & faster. And just when you think it can’t speed up or blur anymore, it sudden strips back down again to the spoke & wheel element, but now there seemingly falling into each other, before around the twenty five minute mark we drop into HNW territory. The ‘walls’ built around a slowed roaming/ juddering/throbbing low-end tone, and a faster jittering ‘n’ smarting noise tonality- again the whole thing has quite a circular/ spinning feel to it. As the ‘wall’ progresses the low tone seems to get deeper, slower & more meaty and drilling in it’s feel with the second tone become more skipping static like in it’s feel, as Henry creates this huge & boring feel, and by the 36th minute the tracks tones have really started to blur & merge sludgy & intense mass. He finishers the tracks last five minutes with a mixture of a slow blurring circular like grain tones that seem to slowly merge together to create a grainy textured forest of tone.
The second track is somewhat of a secret track as it’s silent until around the 5th minute. When it does kick-in the tracks made up of a quite a camp & showy dance pop track that’s been fed through a mass of static & crackle by Henry- it’s a bit of surprising ending to the release, but it somehow feels a right & quite euphoric yet damaged end to the release.
Clearly a lot of time & effort has gone into both the composing & building of the walled noise here, equally a lot of time & effort has gone into the design & concept of this release's packaging all making this a extremely rewarding bit of sonic & visual art. Certainly one of Mr Henry best releases thus far, and one of this years walled HNW/ ANW highlightsRoger Batty