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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

Werewolf Jerusalem/ Anonymous Masturbaud - Faceless [Archivio Audio Anonimo/Ominous Recordings - 2016]

Faceless is a C40/ digital release from late last year- it offers up two slices of masterfully tooled walled-noise. The split brings together Werewolf Jerusalem- which is the most known projects of US noise legend & HNW originator Richard Ramirez. And up ‘n’ coming / often creative Swiss wall-noise project Anonymous Masturbaudioum.

I’m reviewing the cassette version of the release, which unsurprisingly has all sold out- so if you want to now check this out either Archivio Audio Anonimo or Ominous Recordings bandcamps are the only option now. The black & label-less tape came in an oversized baggie, and this features double-sided gloss black & white artwork- which takes in an bleak montage of stark pictures of mannequin bodies & heads.

Each artists offers up a single track, which come in at around the twenty-minute mark. And first out of the gate we have the Werewolf Jerusalem track- this is entitled “Suffocation”, and it’s a most apt title- as it brings together three or four layers ultra-stark noise texturing, to create an inescapable-yet-morbidly entrancing wall. We have the following layers: A blunt ‘n’ muffled rumbling buzz, a dragged-slightly-forked jitter, and a selection of smaller crisper ‘n’ snap bound patter-nations. These elements are fed out in a fairly even & set textural weave- though each element appears to be running at slightly different paces, and this creates a feeling of airless encasement, hypnotic textural mapping, and bleak entrancement.

The next track is, of course, the Anonymous Masturbaudioum track, and this nicely follows the fetish themed theme with the title of “Nylon Mask”. The ‘wall’ opens bringing together several layers of similar lower-to-mid ranged rumbling juddering- these are running at very slight different pace. Under these more ‘wall’ parts we have these weird & eerier  elements- which seemingly blend snapping, moaning, and  scrapping tones- these sound like they could be slowed & slightly modified field recordings of either  a bondage bound sexual encounter, or someone been tortured- and it’s this uncertainty  that really pulls you in & unsettles you too. As the track progresses AN skilfully ‘n’ subtle morphs, shifts, and alters the noise elements- these keep with-in a fairly similar tonal & textural pattern range, but it’s the subtle adjustments( and the unsettling field recordings) that make the whole thing so disturbing yet captivating.

With out doubt Faceless was one of the wall-noise highlights of 2016, and if I’d reviewed it sooner it would have certainly rated high up in my best of list. Simply put it brings together two highly skillful bits of static based sound art- which both work well on their own, but also nicely complement each other two, making for the perfect split.

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

Roger Batty
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