Wednesday, January 29, 2014
W>A>S>P>S / Nacht Und Nebel split on NUNWSP Records
I love that this singles like this exist. This split from experimental musicians W>A>S>P>S and Nacht Und Nebel is a conceptual single who's mere existence without even putting it on the turntable is proof enough of the vision and intent. This record isn't intended to be music for the livingroom or to illicit some kind of emotional response. Instead they're the the conclusion to their equation. A proof of a theory and making the conceptual an actual object you can hold in your hand to reenact this document of a particular set of circumstances. A crazy vision that they had to follow to it's end point.
In the case of W>A>S>P>S, Benjamin Hallat is presenting a sound, a long droning speaker-breaking low end crackle that would make anyone check their needle and amp, which hasn't ever existed in nature. This is a completely man made sound that exists entirely because of electricity. It's a humming dangerous sound. It's a transformer overhead jammed between poles of power lines that's shorting out in the acid rain. The lower end hum shifts through a narrow spectrum of tones because now we have to mention the limitations of whatever this was recorded on. The mic and tape have been turned up to maximum input which boosts that rumble and obscures everything else. Like some kind of circuitry didgeridoo it warbles and melts away under a static crackle that comes from malfunction. It could be a simple conversation on a telephone, a sample recorded off the tv...which was then successively rerecorded over and over. Each time a new one was made from the record of the last time, getting exponentially more broken. W>A>S>P>S have transformed it into something else completely that will never exist as a 'live' sound. It's a weird world we live in. Welcome to the future.
Nacht Und Nebel (or Night and Fog, which has equally ominous connotations as Nazi coined 'Joy Division') on the B-Side is the solo project, of Henry Davies. The press release says the three tracks on this side are manipulations of a cello but you wouldn't know it on "Those That Tremble as if They Were Mad" that features a cycling warm wooden sound that slowly works it's way through digital sounding crunches and crushes of various bit sizes, turning into a deadly swarm. A hiss of digital swarming bees from the '50s. Theremin warps and old synths sparkle and give off tesla sparks of lightning. It ends up underwater as a long past memory you'll want to forget in this stark apocolpytic future. "Derinkuyu" is the sound of a far off thunderous footstep from a massive robot and you're listening through an old tin can telephone, the only technology left. It's also on the heels of those fucking digital bees and walks ever so closer with pinging noises from an equally deadly submarine. It's as if we're listening to creatures who can't even hear and have no use for sound waves. These tracks are the leftover detritus of a forgotten way they used to communicate before theygave up on the whole damn thing.
Those bees are stuck inside an old Atari on "Anareta". I even forgot this came from a cello? Basically unimportant except for the fact there's deliberately no reference whatsoever to the original source. Henry is saying it doesn't make a difference how this started, it's been bent into a completely new thing. The traditional organic sound has been obliterated. This one skitters around in waves after the initial bzzzzz and fades out as the EQ was pushed down into negative Db's above 500hz. It's not happy, you aren't going to put it on in the car on the way to work but it's inspiring as hell.
Head over here to get one of these 250 copies, xerox sleeves, minimal as hell. Stark and potentially horrifying sounds within.