Uitgeschakeld - Crumbles and Waves [Lurker Bias/Neon Wall - 2016]Here’s another tape from Lurker Bias’ Neon Wall series, and again, I’m reviewing a digital version. The tape has two tracks, both exactly 15:54 minutes long, and an inlay cover of an abstract, pixellated design. The pieces are titled Crumbles and Waves, and The Organ Shrieks; both of which give some clues to the sounds within.
Indeed, the tape is a compound of crumbles, waves, and organ. The crumbles take the form of (obviously) crackles, rumbles, and other harsh noise wall foundations. There’s a variety of textures explored and carved out by Uitgeschakeld, though the range of sounds, or colours, is not too far-stretched. This plays into the second part of our defining trio: waves. Both tracks often carry a sense of being structured in waves; in perhaps the simplest example, Crumbles and Waves has several sections dominated by one set of textures, which are then interrupted intermittently by eruptions of contrasting textures.
In the track’s opening passage, a dry, fuzzy wall of noise has several of these interruptions - either spectacular, powerful outbreaks of violent treble, or more laid-back trails of crackle. These bring to mind obvious metaphors of tides and waves. As well as this, there are also rhythmic sections in both pieces, where something looping or metronomic can be discerned under the surface of the noise. The organ part of the triptych is simply that: an organ. This distinctive sound can be heard poking out of the wall of noise at several points, throughout both tracks. There’s an effective passage in Crumbles and Waves, where the organ breaks through a wall of speeding, caustic crackle; while The Organ Shrieks has several moments of severely obliterated keyboard sounds.
Whilst Crumbles and Waves is clearly conceived within the realms of HNW, it travels very far from the usual centre of the territory. It makes no pretence at being remotely static, with several shifts between different textures, short bursts of noise, and organ interruptions. However, the tracks remain anchored in static noise textures, and so the tape occupies an odd place where it might be much too active for HNW purists, but at the same time much too conservative or static for harsh noise lovers. Regardless, it’s a very interesting approach, and I hope Uitgeschakeld continues to mine this area in future.Martin P