Various Artists - No Belief [ULFO - 2020]
No Belief is a sixty-nine-minute compilation focusing in on the more techno stabbing-to-rhythmic side of the walled noise genre. The seven-track CDR compilation is varied enough with tracks moving from dense ‘n’ hacking attacks, murky & muffled groove-bound moments, and building-yet- churning electronica wrapped walled noise.
The pro pressed CDR comes in a jewel case- this features monochrome art which takes in old ’50s to 60’s shots of supposable UFO sightings. The CDR is the first release on ULFO- a new Seattle based label run by highly talented noise-maker Peter Keller. There’s no mention of numbers pressed on this CDR on the bands Bandcamp for this release- so I’m guessing it’s sort of a print on demand situation, but to find out more head the labels Bandcamp here
The seven tracks run between eight & eleven minutes apiece- so each track nicely bites & batters. Things kick off with constantly stabbing-slighty blunt machine pulse meets brooding/ airless reverb of Noyau Sale’s “Manic Pulse”- which feels both unrelenting grim yet moody in its attack, and I rather enjoy the very subtle & twisting textural grain play just above the rumbling & suffocating reverb. By track four we’ve moved onto the rapidly ticking-tocking beat, murky bass hover, and rising ‘n’ swirling noise grain of Sharpe With Out Form “Untitled”- which sounds like a noised up relation of early Autechre say something off their 1994’s album Amber. With track six Stena’s “Unleash Your Monsters” we find an old school, lo-fi & at points breaking down techno groove line with it’s bayed by sways of galloping static, shredding textural clutter, and off-kilter/ psychedelic electro slices & melts. The compilation is topped off with Verhalten’s “The Sound Of Them”- it finds a bothersome & buffeting groove, rattling textural detail, and almost constant high pitched tonal stab- it’s a great, dense & disorientating end to proceedings.
All in all, No Belief is a great compilation nicely shining a light on this growing sub-genre of walled noise- this is the first of two releases on the new ULFO label, so I very much look forward to seeing what they put out next!.Roger Batty