See Through Buildings - I Walked Among The Elders [Endless Landscapes of Decay - 2016]
Here’s a digital version of a limited cassette from Endless Landscapes of Decay. The tape has two tracks, both around 15 minutes in length, and both containing harsh walls of noise - though not necessarily HNW. See Through Buildings provides the first track, whilst the reverse side is a remix of the same; it’s credited to e.l.d., which I would assume is Endless Landscapes of Decay. The cover depicts a decaying corpse - though whether this is sourced from actuality or a film, I couldn’t say.
I Walked Among The Elders, by See Through Buildings, begins with a high, piercing tone, sat in a bed of noise. This noise is somewhat distant and dulled, as if it were an nth generation tape dubbing. The tone shifts a little, although it is overwhelmingly static, whilst bassier objects seem to dredge through the noise; then, at around the two and a half minute mark, the track explodes into all out skree. This skree consists of a thick wall of rampaging noise, fast and savage - but again, it does feel dulled: not hollowed out by equalisation, but more distant, and smoothed. After a brief outburst of filtered feedback (or indeed the previous tone), See Through Buildings locks down into an impressively hard wall. It’s bass heavy and driving, filled with menace and dread: fear in suspension. This breaks out - all too quickly - into more trebly territory, with the tone returning again, before undergoing more quickly shifting sections: more treble, drilling mid-frequencies, and low-end saturation. Before the piece ends, cutting off as a nice, reverberating drone emerges, the wall settles briefly on hollowed out textures - probably the most ornate passage of the track.
I Walked Among The Elders (Abandoned Child), the b-side remix, begins with more obvious colour than its parent track. Large mysterious chunks of matter move through a white-out of noise, murky and submerged - but then, from a different angle, it might just be a field recording of a rain storm… The piercing tone is also present, though buried and less defined. Around the six minute mark, a sampled voice breaks through the broken wash: Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer, chatting about his cannibalism, and his brute medical experiments. With his words gone, the track continues along its rain-soaked path. The bassy ‘chunks of matter’ modulate slightly - perhaps akin to a flanger - reminding me of the odd way that thunder claps reverberate and shift. The overall sense of the track is almost like an electroacoustic piece buried in saturation and lo-fi noise.
This is a very solid pairing, with the two tracks both displaying good ideas, and complimenting each other. See Through Buildings is changeable and noisy, here, whilst the e.l.d. remix takes a more static and mysterious stance. Both pieces operate at quite a distance from the idea of pure, monolithic harsh noise wall, but still clearly know and use its terrain. If I had any strong criticism, it might be the general low-fidelity nature of the tracks - sometimes bordering on wash - but this is, of course, a personal thing. Nevertheless, a new label for me to watch…Martin P