Nikolic, Pakhomov & Van Der Veen - Self Titled [Lost Light Records - 2018]Though this self-titled collaboration may sound like some sort of obscure prog rock spin-off project. It’s actually a wall-noise venture bringing together three of the more respected names in the scene- Nemanja Nikolic (Dosis Letalis), Sergey Pakhomov (Train Cemetery/Reason Art Records), and Casper Van Der Veen (Uitgeschakeld). This hour-long debut from the project surfaced late last year on Spokane, Washington based tape label Lost Light Records- as either a C60. Or digital download- sadly the tapes now all gone- but of course you can still download it.
The physical version of the release- found the white shelled cassette coming in a monochrome cover- which features a fairly surreal picture of a effects peddle in the middle of the woods with a tentacle coming out of it, and been surrounded by a fly, animal skeleton, antler-like branches & a horned skull- all making for a distinctive looking cover.
The release features two half-an-hour examples of hellish thick wall-matter- which finds the three piece bringing together often subtle layer shift HNW, that’s sure to both brutalized & entrancing seasoned wall-heads. Each of the two tracks here is untitled- and each is as thick, unrelenting, yet subtle layer shifting as the next.
So the first untitled track starts off been built around a rolling & slighting wondering droning, a sway of rattle & clutter bound cascade, and splintering hackings- that are seemingly bursting out of the edges of the thickened mass. As we move along the tracks half-an-hour unfold the trio keep things impenetrable dense & raging, yet as it progresses we get nice textural layers that suddenly appear, then dart back into the mass- for example around six minute mark I can clearly define an off pattern selection of meaty sliding & slicing textures that sound like something thick worming through a mass of snow & ice. Or at around the nineteen-minute mark we get a blend of hacking meshed static chops & clutters, blended with distant droning-yet-drifting underbelly and subtle pop & crackle topping. It’s certainly the type of ‘wall’ that very much rewards repeated visits & submersions, as each time around you seem to pick up subtle new details.
Moving onto the second track and this once again is just a dense & full in its attack- it starts off as a blend of roaming & muffled churning drone, chopping meshes of slices, sways of cluttering pop & graze, and descending static buffetings. Once again the whole thing remains thick through-out, yet active in its layer movement- so for example at the midway point the drone seems to become aquatic & murky in its pattern, as we get sways of cascading static smash, knock & rattle. Or at just before the twentieth minute we get blends of knock & ripping, that are underfed by blunting tunnelling drone, and sudden snapping chop. It really is masterful how the trio manages to keep the whole thing remaining so firm- yet- layer active, without ever diluting the power & depth of the ‘wall’ as a whole.
This self-titled collab is really a master class in how to create extremely dense, yet layer detailed wall-matter- special mention must giving to the mixing here of both walls- this was done by Mr Nikolic who really has managed to perfectly balance all of the elements together to create both skull crushing weight, yet clever detail too- which is far from easy to do. It really is a pity this disappeared so quickly in its physical form- let's hope sometime in the near future it receives a reissue- as this really it's a release that every self-respecting wall-head should have in their collection.Roger Batty