Karl-Henrik - Karl-Henrik [The White Visitation - 2020]
Karl-Henrik is a recent(ish) collaborative project bringing together Sean E. Ramirez-Matzus ( theNIGHTproduct, Black Leather Jesus, Thewhitehorse, Last Rape) and Thomas Puopolo(Scarlet Diva, Celebrity Sex, Black Leather Jesus)- it’s a wall noise project, which is themed around the work of Ingmar Bergman. This self-titled C32/ digital download is the projects first release, and it brings together two around fifteen-minute examples of aggressively spluttering ‘n’ roasting roaming walled noise.
The physical version of the release finds the tape presented in a J card case with monochrome artwork taking in a still from Bergman’s 1966 psychological drama Persona, of a woman looking troubled at the foot of an empty hospital bed. The tape came in an edition of fifteen copies, and as of this review, the label still has copies for sale.Roger Batty
First up we have “Cottage By The Sea”- here we find a blend of tight /constantly rolling noise grain, fraught ‘n’ rapidly spluttering mid-range, and this distant sort of rolled ‘n’ cluttering judder. Together these textures make for a nicely encasing and enclosing 'wall'- with the blend creating a speed alternating waving & wondering feel deep within the ‘walls’ marrow. This effect/element is almost certainly a trick of the wall, and in reality, the whole thing is very much set & firm in its flow. Around the eight-minute mark, I’m sure I make out a sudden distant and high pitched tone dwell- and from this point on the whole thing starts to become more shredding & sightly more drone bound in it’s attack, giving the 'wall' an almost grindingly sludge feel.
The second track here is “It was Just As Good As Before”. Here we open with a set and raging blend of roaming drone and rattling static, but this doesn't remain for long as within a minute we’ve shifted into deeper and buzzing low-end and skittering static rattle. As we move on we get some nicely searing higher ranged tones been added in to the blend, with some most effective shifts of buffing and blunt drone, and shredding/ searing static tonality. At points, it feels like the whole thing may pare right the way back, to almost to washed-out ANW- but the bass tones always kick back in, and we once again return to the sludgy-bound grind vibe of the end of the first track, but here it’s much more pronounced and roaming in its attack/ feel. All in all the track is a great example of more rewardingly shifting wall matter.
All in all, this is a most worthy opening shot from this new project- both Ramirez-Matzus and Puopolo show their talent for creating both grinding and searing wall craft, which is nicely edged with grim moodiness and some effectively bone-crushing shifts in the second track. To grab a copy of the tape before they go, head here