The Ebony Tower / Blood Eagle - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle [Knife With A Smile - 2015]This split 62 cassette tape offers up two side long slices of dense & unrelenting walled noise that is themed around Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle- a series of three novels that follow the adventures of one Toru Okada who loses his job, cat & wife, then goes on a often surreal journey to find his wife( and cat) meeting along the way a series of bizarre characters.
The split brings together two US walled noise acts- we have The Ebony Tower, which is the project of Greeley Colorado based Mitchell Rotunno- over the last year or so the project has rightly received praise for it’s literature influenced HNW that is both dense yet often detailed. And Blood Eagle – which is one of the newer projects of long term wall noise scene-ster Philadelphia based Paul Dever(Griz+zlor, Cursed Aether, Dhusk).
Up first on side A we have The Ebony Tower track & this is entitled “ May Kasahara”. The track opens with a mix of the following: a stretched-out buffeting billowing, a galloping judder, and muffled aquatic rumble. As the track progresses on we get very subtle adjustments in the layers & one off sonic events occurring( for example around the five & half minute mark with get this sudden rising texture that sounds like it's sampled from a sci-fi film). Like most of this project work the track is very, very dense in it’s over all feel, with a general feel of textural overload- but it’s the very subtle & often micro detail shifts that make the whole thing rewarding. I won’t go into detail each & every shift here, as it’s best to see what you can pick-up your self- but this is certainly another eventful & rewarding track from the project.
Flipping over to side B we have the Blood Eagle track, and this entitled “Chapter 13: Mongolian Skinner”. And this ‘wall’ is built around a deep continual rumbling ‘n’ crumble pattern, which has these sways of crumbling static judders gathering around it. The central texture is pleasing crushing in it’s set pattern, with sub judders nicely moving through a fairly narrow set of ebbs & shifts. The whole thing rather brought to my mind slowed footage of a snow storm, as it slowly gathers around buildings & the landscape. As the track progresses the textures seem to nicely blur & meld together slightly, and there’s also a feel that the whole thing is slowing down- but both of these could just be a trick of the ‘wall’.
All told this is a worthy split with both projects offering up a appealing bits of dense wall craft- from The Ebony Tower it’s a thick yet layer detail shifting track, and Blood Eagle presents the listener with a crushing yet entrancing slice of dense crumble based wall-making.