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.

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