The Harsh Noise Wall label Wall Noise Action is up to new shenanigans. This premiere Russian noise factory and ditto peddler has yet to take the step to start doing physical releases. Until then there are other things afoot. For one thing, Reason Art Records’ boss Sergey Pakhomov has joined the administration of the label. This should mean some innovations are on their way. We do not know if the Wall Split Action series is one of these innovations, or if it came from another source, but it is an excellent idea in any case.
The concept of the series is simple: two bands offer up one wall each of 10-40 minutes. The present album – a split between Bitum and Психогенная Боль – is the first of these HNW nuggets. We feel mildly excited over the concept, and hope this release will be the first of many in the series. The format is perfect for a number of reasons. First of all because no wall really needs to be more than 40 minutes, and many could do well to stay between 10 and 30. Furthermore, the fact that this split and those to come do not exceed the play time possible for physical releases means that, with a little luck, we’ll be seeing these on tape or CDr. Lastly, it is pretty great to have two projects back to back (wall to wall?) like this, even when it’s just a digital download (a cheap one).
We have reviewed earlier releases of Bitum elsewhere, and the track on this split, “Cleg”, keeps to a similar style as that of their earlier releases. After a short, radio static/feedback intro, the strange world of Bitum reluctantly squeezes forth. It’s dry, clicky, compressed and minimalist. It’s The Rita’s Ballet Foot Positions off of steroids, and starved down to almost nothing. A very different creature from most HNW and noise. It is an improvement on some of Bitum’s earlier works, since it lacks some of the annoying and unpleasant intruding sounds that marred some of the project’s earlier works.
“Машины Лучше Людей” by Психогенная Боль by is a different creature altogether. Here we’ve got ourselves some rather brutal and painful harsh noise, frozen and isolated as a wall. After the first seconds gives us the impression that we’re about to experience a heavily dynamic, feedback based noise assault, everything settles into place. A bass wall, rather low in the mix, is accompanied by loud feedback noise panned to the right and white noise/fuzz panned to the left. Virtually all changes occur in the right speaker, and they are not many. The interplay between bass and feedback loops does, at times, conjure a feeling that you’re listening to power electronics. If you’re waiting for someone to start screaming, ironically or in earnest, about rape and/or how they hate minority X, you’ll have to wait though. After 25 minutes, the wall peters out in a few seconds.
This split has really increased our appetite for WNA as a label, and there is reason to look forward to what future entries in the same series will bring to the table. We truly hope WNA will find a way to publish and sell some of their releases in a physical format, and think it very possible that the Wall Split Action series might give birth to just the type of material that would fit right onto such releases.