Sunday, September 11, 2011


I'm very much a fan of Nekrasov's work, so when i heard they had another release in the Crucial Blast Family i was already lined up. After reading the fine print, i was intrigued yet again. I missed their recent-ish release on Ritual Stance, so i had no idea they were working within the HNW genre too. Now if your reading this, you probably have a good idea who i am. If you don't i'll give you the quick version: i LOVE HNW, i've been listening and producing HNW since the scene really came together. So i ordered this quick, and it came pretty quick as Crucial Blast is kinda close, and speedy with their shipping anyway.

So this is a 2xcdr + print zine and it also came with a button and a sticker. It's in a clear DVD style case, with full color printing on both sides of the cover. The b&w print zine is done nicely, good paper, heavy evocative imagery, my only gripe with it is that the booklet wasn't trimmed to be flat, but that's because i'm a print nerd too. Yet another visually stunning release from Crucial Blast and Nekrasov.

On to the audio. Disk 1 has 2 tracks clocking over the 30 min mark. Track one is a very dense piece, very dry to the ears, and a brittle crisp, very much in the Vomir school of HNW, as in static and un-moving. Very good piece of wall work, it has very interesting texture. Track 2 is a little brighter and not as rigid as the first track. It starts with a squealing and gets nasty real quick. So it moves a little more than the first, but it's not as dry sounding. In fact i guess it's the opposite and very saturated/wet sounding. One thing that bothers me with this one, when cranked up you can faintly hear the squeal of the oscillator (or is that feedback?) in the background. It's not super noticeable i guess to the average listener, but we had already established i'm not your average HNW listener. Midway through the track though it completely disappears that is until it gets to the end and it rears it's head again. I'm only harping on it as i think it's not a fitting tone for HNW, so if you're not a big HNW fan, ignore the fact it bothers me...

Disc 2 is one giant 66 minute opus. This disc starts with more of a hybrid of their black industrial sound with a base layer of HNW. Not like the purer HNW tracks on the first disc. To my ears it sounds like a looped sample of some sort of field recording, with a very dense layer of HNW underneath. It manages to meander a bit in sound for the hour plus duration, barely moving anywhere, but there is some movement. That being said i think this style fits them better than disc 1, so disc 2 is definitely my favorite here, it's just more meditative, and more in-line of the Nekrasov material i heard previously...

Overall i think Nekrasov's adventures in HNW are a little stale, but i do look forward to hearing more. I think they could pull it off well, hell, their black noise style work is top notch stuff... But afterall this is HNW and i doubt most people would understand it, or appreciate it as much as i do anyway. Regardless, it's WELL worth the price tag for entire package together.

Get it Here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Small Hours - Pulse II

When i saw this release from Sweet Solitude, i was intrigued. I needed to order it immidiately. Here's the spiel that dug me in: "Ultra minimal noise and textures from the UK. No there is nothing wrong with the CD, it is meant to be that quiet!!!". I'm sure it sold out really quickly as it was in a borderline criminal 10 copies. This is the first time i'm hearing of Small Hours, which is the Project of the Sweet Solitude head honcho.

 So when it came i opened it, and for a minute i like to look at the packaging, as it (at least) should give an idea or a clue to the audio included. It's an unmarked 3"cdr in a clear poly slimline dvd case, with just a little card announcing the project and release name. Pretty much as minimal as you'd expect from the description. So i first tried to listen to this in my car, and it was hard to distinguish what was engine noise and what wasn't, or even if there was anything t all on the disc. So it took me a couple more days to be able to concentrate in a fairly isolated location. At normal listening levels it's barely audible. As a matter of fact it seems like at first that your waiting for your ears to pop, like you've been underwater, or you started on an elevation change. So then i cranked the stereo as loud as it would go to hear as much detail as i could. There was some bubbling and faint crackling to be found, but even at this volume i'm straining my ear (which i think is the purpose). I can't say for certain that it's a pleasurable listen, as most of the actual audio very well may contain tones and sounds i don't like. Ultimately though, it's a challenging yet rewarding listen, and i think i'm ok with that. 

As a conceptual release (i hope i'm not assuming too much here) i think this is amazing. This obviously isn't party noise, i think it's more of a release that requires a little private time. If you have an isolation room, fortress of solitude, or even a house in the woods far, far away from everyone else this release must be godly. I can't help but ask myself though, is this HNW? I mean it's not harsh by any means, it certainly is noise, and it could be considered a wall, i mean the same basic structure is there. Or more importantly does HNW even really stand for harsh noise wall anymore, or is it just a basic idea, with some loose guidelines...

Either way, Pulse II gets my noggin thinking. Highly reccomended!

p.s. the first Pulse is over @ the HNW Graveyard