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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

Various HNW Artists - Short Noise Wall [Social Drift - 2013]

This recently released compilation comes in both CDR  & digital  download format, and it brings together a selection of shorter slices of walled noise- in total this releases offers up 19 tracks, taking in HNW acts from all around the world. And as you might expect with this type of thing the quality, focus & sonic depth of the tracks vary quite a fair bit, with those who have a  clear understand of  form sitting along side more amateurish attempts at the walled noise form.

Firstly lets discuss the packaging of the CDR , & the related text that comes with it. The plain unlabeled gold CDR comes in a jewel cd case, which takes in ripped & torn collage work of various interior & exterior (physical) walls.  The front cover features a scribbled black mark pen circle & the words ‘ Short Noise Wall’ over the already mentioned collage back ground.  The back cover features a overlaid scan of the track listing written down on lined paper with a picture of some sort of aged building or temple in the back ground.  The covers are clearly printed off on a colour Pc printer- all in all it’s just a step or so up from fairly low grade Xeroxed type packaging, but I guess it keeps alive the underground label ethos.

Also with the release comes with two pieces of doubled sided printed A4 white paper that’s folded into a basic A5 booklet. This booklet features 5 pages of black & white text, and this out-lines the releases concept in a rather high-brow/ scholarly manner- which I’m afraid did little or nothing for me.

I guess it’s best to go through the most effective stuff first, then skim across the least effective stuff afterwards. So highlights for me come in the form of:  The Whitehorse(which is one of the  solo project’s of  Houston based Sean E. Matzus, who of course often collaborates with HNW noise legend Richard Ramirez) who offering up a track entitled “ The Burning Time”, which mixers together churning & deeply brooding taunt noise drone matter with a constant & creepy static crackle.  Man With Icy Eyes track “Unsettling Images”, which offers up a mix of slowly intensifying  slice of constant meaty bass rumble that’s tipped with thinner crackling edges.  Authority’s  “Frank O'Collins RIR-111124” feeds together taut & fixed mid-ranged juddering with a set squeaking 'n' jittering tonality for a very intensely enclosing & airless  ‘wall’, before end off with a conspiracy  like dialog  sample over mid to upper ranged star like crackle.  To the lo-fi & faded insect like feasting of Inanition's "Nothing but Teeth", which mergers to together building layers of  bleak juddering & stark billowing.

And a  few of least successful moments come in the form of Social Drift’s “The Lawn Mower”, which just rather dully alternates between thick yet bland textural rush ‘n’ juddering noise, and sudden switchers to more brief searing tone attacks.  The constant & intense searing simplistic ‘wall’ of Raven’s “Orion”- which losers ones interest very quickly. The very un-HNW like doom bass drone meets un-stimulating static fuzz ‘n’ drift of Wayne Manson’s  “The Absolute Flaw of I”.

So it’s great to see a new HNW compilation appearing, as sadly they are fairly thin on the ground these days. I just wish more time & effort had been given to the selecting tracks to go on it, because sadly they are decidedly mixed through-out. This is well worth a look for fans of the HNW genre, but I'd advise those new to form track down more wholly consistent & rewarding HNW compilations like 2010’s "Stasis:001", or the "- _NW" compilation on Coffin Birth records which is as still available a free d/l.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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