Volhnn/The 36th Movement - Refiorms [Reason Art - 2017]Refiorms is a two CDR/ digital download, which finds two projects in the more ambient side of the noise offering up a disc a piece of material.The work goes from moody wall-noise/ textured noise matter, through to dense brooding weaves of murky drone matter & slurred noise detail. This release appeared late summer last year, in a physical edition of twenty copies- and as of this review, the Reason Art label still have copies left.
The two monochrome labelled discs come in a mini gatefold sleeve- it’s out side takes in simple shades/ hazes of blacks & whites, and the inside features a murky & dark picture of a line of figures carved in stone- with the releases title over the top in ghostly letters. All told a simple, though effectively a moody bit of packaging.
The first disc takes in two tracks from Volhnn- the more mood-based & atmospheric static noise texturing/ ANW project from Frenchman Matthieu Wagner- who will be known to euro wall noise fans for his hugely prolific & often horror/ sleazy themed HNW project Chier. First up we have "Ashes 1"- this is a twenty-minute track that sees Wagner bringing together woozy & muffled industrial drone matter, snapping & popping grain, and murky chugs- for a very subtle shifting, then building a bit of fairly texturally complex mood making. "Ashes 2" is the longer of the two tracks on the first disc, coming in at just over the thirty-six-minute mark- here we get a more enclosing and at times fairly claustrophobic mix of dead air dronings, sister micro tapings, and a constantly flowing matt of pop, snap, and click. With later on a more simplistic blend of semi harmonic drone bleeds coming into play in the background.
Moving onto the second disc, and we have two untitled tracks from The 36th Movement- this is one of the many projects of Swedish noise-maker Krister Bergman, who has been making noise since the early 2000’s, and over his various project banners(Audiorcist, Demons That Drove, V.O.E.R., Step Further Away) he’s seemingly released PE, straight forward noise, and more moody/ grim ambient focused work like The 36th Movement. The first track is the longer of the two coming in at the twenty-four-minute mark- it’s a fairly eventful, and darkly building track moving from it’s slurred & misshaped beginnings of hazing drone, pinched feedback points, wavering high-pitched and occasional drifting male vocal muffle. Onto latter more pressing, though still very atmospheric blends of stretched industrial chop, clouds of buzzing/ feasting drone, that are ribbed with slow, often throbbing slices of more high pitched noise matter.
The second track is much shorter coming at just over the six & a half minute mark- this sees a very creepy & slurred of sonic soup of brooding & thrummed guitar churn, clouds of reverb dark whispers & nocturnal knocks, and distant-ill defined grey harmonic ambient drifts- in it’s last few moments a more warming & golden guitar rises & takes hold. The track sort of feel like a half-way house between miss-formed early Swans, slurred industrial ambience, and later more hopeful guitar-based ambient waters.
As a whole Refiorms is an interesting enough split- bringing together moody & often the murky side of noise-making. If pushed I’d say I enjoy the Volhnn disc more out of the two, as it felt slightly more focused over the two tracks. But that said The 36th Movement side of things have its rewarding moments, and you can certainly say that Bergman is creating a sound that crosses a more than few sub-genres of noise.