Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Emptyset - Collapse

Shape, texture, space. Emptyset are creating the suprematist sound structures once sought by HNW producers. Each time I listen to Emptyset or Eliane Radigue, AVFN seems even more redundant.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Infinity Series vol. XX: Total Tickling of Throats

The Infinity Series was a series of cdr releases produced and curated by James Killick, the man behind the HNW label Sweet Solitude, and also an HNW producer in his own right under numerous guises. In my opinion, the Infinity Series was, without doubt, one of the most interesting projects in HNW so far, because it encouraged the development of the HNW sound in a direction away from the narrow confines that had grown up around the sub-genre during the years of its initial boom, and into territory that more properly explored the possibilities of what we might call Static Noise, or Static Minimalism.
James explains his own impetus thus:
In late 2010 a number of HNW releases appeared, which challenged the traditional notion of HNW (as I then saw it). These included works by TFT, Insurgent and perhaps most significantly the ‘Wall Whores’ box on HFFL. Although retaining ‘wall-like’ tendencies (repetition, static textures, non-dynamic walls etc.), there was something different about these tracks. They were not harsh or abrasive at all; in fact they were often quiet, contemplative and relaxing. I felt that the artists involved were onto something, and that what was on display here, could be perhaps the birth pangs of a new sub-genre.
Around this time I was treading my toes into the world of noise, with my project ‘Love Katy’ and my label ‘Sweet Solitude’. I decided that on my label I wanted to give these new sounds I was hearing an opportunity to develop further. As a vehicle for this, I came up with the idea of the ‘Infinity’ Series.
In this series, I encouraged HNW artists to experiment with the form, but still retain the essential qualities which differentiate HNW tracks from Harsh Noise (hence the name ‘Infinity Series’ – Infinite ideas and possibilities etc.). I did not set rules for submissions, as I wanted to see how people would approach this.
Unfortunately, James decided to close Sweet Solitude this year, and the Infinity Series with it. But, as a swansong, James master-minded a final release: Infinity Series vol. XX, 'Total Tickling of Throats'. This release not only pays tribute to James's great series, but also, as its title suggests, to the HNW heritage by mimicking the format of the seminal HNW release, 'Total Slitting of Throats'. For, like its predecessor, vol. XX mixes the efforts of several contributors into a single sixty-six minute piece. Unlike its predecessor, however, the contributed tracks would be of the more minimal, less-aggressive style of Static Minimalism encouraged by the Infinity Series.
I have to confess, when I first heard about the concept behind 'Total Tickling of Throats', I thought it would never work. But I was dead wrong. This is a great slice of Static Noise and it really does justice to both the Infinity Series and the original 'Total Slitting of Throats', which I reckon it actually even rivals in terms of vision and realisation. Seriously. Congratulations to all contributors, the cover artists/designers for a perfect parody/tribute to the original inspiration and especially to Lucas/Gluttoness for mixing this record, which must have been a right ball-ache. Also, I'd like to personally thank James for the Infinity Series and for releasing my contributions to the series.
You can download all the volumes of the Infinity Series over at the HNW Graveyard. Please do so.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Eliane Radigue - Transamorem Transmortem

Before the greatest achievement
Before the greatest detachment.
At the limit of the frontier space of the unconscious - tuned waves - "consonant things vibrate together".
Where does the change happen? In the inner field of perception or the exterior reality of moving things in the course of becoming.
"And time is no longer an obstacle, but the means by which the possible is achieved".
Eliane Radigue - June 20, 1973
I am in love with this woman's soul.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

AVFN 'Primordial Sea' review @ Musique Machine

Thanks to Martin P for the review, and Roger B for the heads-up. Here.
Not much going on with AVFN right now. Made a few tracks recently, but nothing as good as Primordial Sea, so I'm reluctant to release any of it. There is the possibility of a new project though. The same, but different.

Friday, 13 July 2012

AVFN, live in Glasgow, 27/07/2012

Poster says it all really.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Gaping Hole Tapes audio stream

All thirty-seven of the Gaping Hole tapes are now available to stream online. Gaping Hole was a sublabel of Scratch and Sniff Entertainment which focused on the nastier side of harsh noise. Since this sublabel got started in 2006, it managed to catch the rising wave of HNW, which was just beginning to make a name for itself as a recognisable subgenre. Hence you'll find a lot of great, classic even, wall and HNW tracks by many of the early masters (Infirmary, Vomir, Cannibal Ritual, Paranoid Time, Last Rape, Piss Horn, Wince, Rusalka etc).
Seriously, there's some properly high-quality walls going on here, and the good news is that, even though the sublabel has folded, you can still find most of these tapes out there. Do yourself a favour.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Cannibal Ritual tribute page

I don't know why I didn't post this sooner, but I've started a Cannibal Ritual tribute bandcamp page. Cannibal Ritual was one of the first projects to fully dedicate itself to monolithic unchanging walls of static noise, i.e. Harsh Noise Wall, and is one of my personal favourite HNW artists. All Cannibal Ritual material was dedicated to cannibal cinema and was suitably brutal, lo-fi and obscure. I'm not sure if all of the CR material was made using an empty turntable as a sound source, but a good deal of it certainly was, and this gave the tracks a great grinding quality and often added a rhythmic element that was properly hypnotising.
The Cannibal Ritual material is not the easiest to get a hold of, for Ronald (Cannibal Ritual) released most of his own material, and quite often did so in very small numbers. The Thirst for Revenge Part II release, which you can hear above, for example, was only an edition of six copies. Furthermore, all of the CR material was on either tape or CDR, neither of which is famed for its durability. In fact, my own personal copies are pretty worn out, which you can actually hear from the rip I uploaded of Brutal Abortion/Fetus Slaughter. And so, for these reasons, I decided to do a tribute site; for to try and hold on to these recordings a little longer, and to try and ensure Ronald's deserved legacy as a master of HNW.
There was talk of a reissue box of tapes on Harsh Fucked for Life (Sweden), but Ronald dropped out of the scene without a word of warning in 2010 and hasn't been seen or heard from since. In fact, now that I think about it, even HFFL has folded. Which is strange, cause I remember when Karl just came on the scene, not long after myself, and not long after that HFFL became a real corner-stone of Euro-HNW. Strange to think. So anyway, needless to say, reissues of the Cannibal Ritual material are now extremely unlikely.
The other thing you need to know about Ronald is that he actually set-up and moderated the first two HNW online forums himself. I knew him only a little from those forums, but enough to know that now he's gone, he's unlikely to return. He really just didn't give a fuck about anything apart from brutal HNW and brutal old school death metal. And by the end, he didn't really care about the former anymore. He was vehemently opposed to all HNW that wasn't brutal as fuck and he used to delete threads and accounts on the forum in a heartbeat if he felt either didn't match his expectations of what HNW should be. He was a bit of a bastard like, but we all loved him for it, and he played a key role in ensuring that part of HNW would always be brutal, elitist and obscure.
The other thing I have to say is that I need some help completing the page. There are lots of Cannibal Ritual releases I don't have, so if ye can, I'd very much appreciate it if ye could send me audio rips and cover scans. I've got a few more things to rip from my collection, mostly tapes, including the excellent Thirst for Revenge tape, but my computer is a bit shite, so until I get that sorted there's unlikely to be more added without help. If ye think ye can help, please get in touch.
So anyway, in the meantime, stick on Cannibal Ferox (Ronald's favourite cannibal film, if I remember correctly), and get onto the bandcamp and turn it up full tilt in honour of an HNW legend.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

HNW Unplugged, Disabled Records

A new noise label called Disabled Records has begun a series entitled 'HNW Unpluged' which aims to publish HNW music made under the following stipulations:
no electricity, no fx, no editing, no layers.
It's an interesting idea and certainly one thats been kicking around the HNW scene for a while, in one form or another. And so it's good to see people finally having a proper stab at it. You can stream the releases at the label's bandcamp page.
Here's the thing though; none of this really sounds like HNW, at all. No crunch, no crackle. No well-defined, abstract lines and angles of sound. It really just sounds like acoustic harsh noise or industrial and, in that sense, it's not really all that original sounding. Still, it's good enough for a listen. And I reckon there's always a chance someone might actually manage an acoustic piece of HNW at some stage, so I'll be keeping an eye on it.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

HNW Questionary; A View From Nihil interview

Over at the Noise Admiration blog, Sascha has devised what he calls a HNW Questionary. It's essentially a set of thirty-two incomplete phrases on the subject of HNW which he will be asking various HNW composers to complete. It makes an interesting change from the traditional interview format, and it is surely better suited to email correspondence, which has become the norm for underground interviews, than the old interview format. Sascha asked me to be the first to attempt the questionary, which I did gladly. You can read the AVFN edition of the HNW Questionary here. It features probably the most self indulgent response imaginable; cause I'm like that. Thanks to Sascha for asking, and I'm looking forward to reading the following editions, for I think the layout of the HNW Questionary will allow for some interesting comparisons and contrasts between different artists.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Powerful, minimal, textural, suprematist. Four words which may be used to describe both Harsh Noise Wall and the music of Emptyset equally well. Emptyset, we salute you.

Friday, 27 April 2012

AVFN, live in Glasgow, 28/04/12

I'll be playing the 13th Note as part of the Cave ov Lights all-dayer tomorrow. My set is slotted for a 5:45 start time.

Monday, 2 April 2012

A Portrait of Eliane Radigue

A Portrait of Eliane Radigue (2009) from Maxime Guitton on Vimeo.

"It's like looking at the surface of a river. There's an iridescence around the reefs, but it's never completely the same, according to the way in which you look, you see the golden flashes of the sun or the depths of the water. In a swimming pool you can see the reflections of the ripples on the bottom or have a vision of the whole and let yourself be carried away by what I call 'dream gazing', or fix on a detail and make your own landscape. There you can make your own soundscape."

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

AVFN, Primordial Sea, stream & download

The 'Primordial Sea' release is now available for stream or download over at the AVFN bandcamp. Go get it.

By the way, I also put together some tapes of the this release for to sell at the live event last week (see preceding post). These were an edition of ten C120s with cover art by E Craig of Void Seance/Ritual Stance. They're all gone now, but I may make more if I get asked to play live again soon.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

AVFN, Live in Glasgow, 24/03/12

I'll be playing a gig next Saturday, the 24th of March, at Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow. I'm the only HNW/Static Noise act that night, and probably the only one in Scotland, so I'm curious to see how this one goes down. To date, I've been completely disinterested in sharing the stage with any acts other than HN/HNW ones. But recently I've had a change of heart and I'm ready to step outside of my comfort zone. For a few years now I've been lamenting the lack of harsh acts in Glasgow, overwhelmed as I am by the glut of free-form and psychedelic rock and noise acts. Gone are the glory days of when At War and Kovorox would put on gigs every week catering for more extreme tastes, and we certainly don't see acts like Bloodyminded, Prurient, Gelsomina, Mutant Ape round our way anymore. But there's no point whinging; if I want to go to a harsh gig it looks like I'm going to have to be the one playing. Here's hoping some harsh heads materialise out of the aether. Shame my first gig in my second town isn't at my musical mecca, but Sleazy's is a good spot. Nice poster by Kenny Love, who's also putting on the show, but unfortunately not playing himself.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

AVFN 'The Eternal Present' Review

'The Eternal Present' by A View From Nihil has been reviewed over at the Noise Admiration blog. For a while now, Sascha (the editor/author of Noise Admiration) has been establishing a new high-standard for HNW criticism by examining the style within the broader cultural context of music, art and philosophy. His reviews can be nothing less than the product love and inspiration, for he has clearly worked on them with as much determination, skill, and care as any of the music he has chosen to review, if not more so.

There's not a lot I can add to Sascha's observations and commentary, except to say that I more or less agree with them, and that, whilst I can imagine that his pointed condemnation of certain common practices amongst HNW artists will cause a certain amount of controversy amongst said artists, I have to say that I always consider it a good thing for someone to challenge mediocrity and meaningless creation. And I'm flattered that he has chosen an AVFN release as his spring-board to do so. Of course, Sascha's point is not exactly an original one, and the distinction made between those for whom HNW is an end in of itself, and those for whom such creation is merely a means to a much greater end, could be, and indeed has been, made equally for all forms of art. But what is most important here is that someone has finally started to unpack HNW using the tools of wider artistic criticism. This is surely the only way forward.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Void Sacrifice: HNW Zine

Sublime DIY noise label, Void Seance, has just published the first issue of its Void Sacrifice zine. Much like their other releases, this zine is beautiful to behold and its contents are of the highest relevance to harsh noise wall fans. Limited to one hundred copies, so grab it here.

Issue one of the long awaited VOID SACRIFICE sublet of Void Seance. Interviews with White Gimp Mask, Waterpower Electronics, Richard Ramirez. Gear discussion with The Rita and Vomir. 14 pages, b/w. Hand numbered, limited to 100 copies. Printed on Mohawk Britehue 60lb Gold Velum Text Weight.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

AVFN, 'Primordial Sea', Live 14/11/11

I've made the first and only AVFN live presentation available for stream or download over at my bandcamp. The material is essentially a telescoped version of the new CDR out on Void Seance, entitled 'Primordial Sea'. It's an audience recording by KT/Sk├Ânhet - bootleg quality, but good enough for a listen.