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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

Rien - The Blank Tape Recording [Veil Tapes - 2020]

The Blank Tape Recording is the very welcome return of minimal, often taut, yet always engaging Swedish walled noise project Rien. Here from Brooklyn based Veil Tapes is a C90 tape- taking in two side-long examples of very stripped-back, but rewarding wall craft.

As the release's title suggests the source sounds here were created from using a blank tape- how this was done I’m not sure, but both sides are similar sparse static studies- with each is different enough & rewarding in their own pared-back way. The plain black shelled tape comes in a lo-fi monochrome sleeve with typewriter like texts, and a picture of the original tape source- the sleeve is presented inside a plastic baggie. Sadly this release is now all sold out from the label, with no digital download- so ones only option is Discogs or similar.

Both sides here are untitled- so on side A we have a ‘wall that starts off with been a built around blend of fairly evenly popping ‘n’ snapping static, which are sat in a bath of small feasting & rushing grained static. As we progress the pop ‘n’ snap seemingly get slightly more pressing & urgent in their feel-  also they seemed to have multiplied somewhat- while the small-grained textures seem to take on a flowing/ draining feel. So we move away from the initial almost soothing bubble bath like the vibe of the start, to a more busy & rapid feel- as if now your watching something very slowly dissolve in either quick lime or acid.

Moving onto side B and we find a much tighter & tense wall from the offset. It’s constructed around an almost hacking pop, a thin gritty grain flow, and  a descending crinkle sub-tone. The whole thing of course feels very sparse, but it's also extremely constricting & enclosing in its attack- though out it feels like the whole thing is constant narrowing back as if the static its self has created a slowly but surely thinning corridor of sound. I’m not sure if this is occurring due to subtle noise manipulation, or it’s a trick of the ‘wall’- but whichever  it’s extremely compelling & entrancing bit of low-key static texturing, which most certainly kept me held & focused through-out it’s just shy of forty-five-minute playtime.

The Blank Tape Recording is another highly rewarding offering from Rien- severing up two sparse, yet compelling examples of the wall noise form, which are both patiently & skilfully executed. So it’s a real, real pity that this has now sold out- if you dig minimal, but well built & entrancing pared-back wall craft you really have to hunt down a copy of this…..it’ll certainly be appearing in my best of the year list!.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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