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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

Willowbrook/ Rien - Split [Ominous Recordings - 2018]

Here we have a transatlantic wall noise split bringing together Springfield, Oregon based Willowbrook & Stockholm, Sweden based Rien. This release appeared at the very tail end of last year on Ominous Recordings- coming as either a C30 tape or digital download.

The smoked brown transparent shelled cassette appeared in a monochrome cover that took in a series of murky, and fairly abstract shapes- and seemingly both tracks were recorded in the summer of 2018. Sadly the physical edition of this tape has now all sold out, so ones only option now is to download the release.

Both tracks here are untitled, and first up we have the Willowbrook track- this project has been active since around 2011. Releasing around twenty-six full lengths &  splits, and around twenty or so short/ miscellaneous releases. With their sound moving though HNW, power electronics, harsh drone, and ANW.  The track offered up here is best described as thickly layered wall matter- which after some blunt churning dwell, moves into a mixture of roasting hacking & muffled descending rumble, this is edged with weathered at-times seared sub-tone feast. There’s a nice mix of bleak ‘n’ battering grimness, and smarting hack about the whole thing- with the blend of textures been simplistic if creative if their feel.


The second track is of course from Rien- this project has been active since 2016, offering a steady flow of releases since. It’s one of the key projects Johan Strömvalll Hammarstedt- of Gamiani, J.S.H., J S H, and runner of the excellent Swedish tape label Ominous Recordings. This track is a much nervier & darting wall- it’s built around a selection of rapid chopping, slicing & jittering textures- which are fed together to create a fairly loose, yet busy example of the genre. Tonally the textures move from snaking static bound, crisply slicing, and bluntly juddering- though out Hammarstedt managers to keep a nice sense of layer definition & separate, though due to the busyness of the whole thing- you really do have to concentrate to follow the walls different layer paths.


So in summing up this is a worthy split- with each wall artists offering up their own distinctive enough take on the genre. Of the two I’d, I just prefer the Rien wall, as I really enjoy its urgent brain stimulating feel of it- but the Willowbrook track is none too shabby either.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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