Clive Henry - Direct Action [Neuro walls - 2016]Here’s a C20 from last year- and it offers up two fairly formal & straight examples of walled noise from this often progressive UK wall-maker. Neuro walls is one of the more recently labels from respected French wall-maker Julien Skrobek- and sadly this tape is now completely sold out, with no download option…so if you're interested in this you’ll have to go down the discogs route.
Seemingly all of the label's releases came in single side black & white lo-fi cover- and for this releases cover we get a series of cut-up texts. It’s not the fanciest looking of releases, but it certainly fits the feel of the two untitled tracks with-in- i.e rough, ready, and lo-fi.
So first up on side one we have the first untitled track- this starts out with a mix of seesawing noise forks & deep hammerings. By around the two-minute mark, things settle from the very seared & shifting start- into a ‘wall’ of muffled & at times ill-defined juddering. This is split into two layers: a mid-range grey ‘n’ gritty static judder, and a worming, slightly skittering, and wiry jitter. Together these create a feeling akin to trying to find your way through some vast & maze-like tunnel network of pure static- as your mind slips through the folds of the tunnels you seemed to get confusion & unbalanced…and just when you think you could be lost for ever the track slides off. I really like the rough ‘n’ crude feel of this tracks juddering, and at times wonky, unfold- and easily could have listened to this for another ten/ twenty minutes…so it was a pity when it ended.
We flip over to the second side, and of course the other untitled track. And this kicks straight in with the ‘wall’- we get a tight & tense jittering, and this is fed through with a buzzing & slightly muffled drone. As the track progresses the drone is seemingly spreading & hazing slightly, and as a result, the jitter is seemingly faltering & corroding. I think in reality certainly the jitter is very much fixed, and possible the drone is too, but the effect of the two layers together is most effective & spell-binding. In the last minute of the track we returning to the seesawing of forking, buzzing & roughly rumbling noise. Once again this track is seemingly over much too quickly, and I could have easily have heard this ‘wall’ for at least another ten minutes.
In conclusion, this is great, if short release from Mr. Henry. It highlights his talent for creating compelling & creative wall-craft, even in a more formal & traditional HNW sense. So this is certainly for those who have felt some of his work is a little too progressive.Roger Batty