Release Helen Rytka/Transductor – Stranglehold/E.L.F.N (C46, R.O.N.F Records)

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Release Helen Rytka is a harsh noise wall project from Richard Ramirez (Werewolf Jerusalem, Black Leather Jesus – you know the drill) and Nicole Dirge (Adult Crash Unit and various Ramirez-partnered projects). Transductor is Manuel M. Cubas, owner and operator of R.O.N.F Records, and “E.L.F.N” appears to be the only track under that moniker. The cassette is forty-six minutes stretched over two twenty-minute walls, full of crackling, rumbling, crunchy goodness.

“Stranglehold” takes up the entirety of side A, a relatively unchanging wall that feels a bit sparse. There’s some slower static crunch that gives the wall a sort of syncopation and crispness, and a background rumble and crumble that is constant throughout the track. But the most interesting aspect of “Stranglehold” is the incessant drone behind the static; it’s almost like an echo of the static that gives a sort of higher-register hum. Occasional bouts of static seem to alter, but for the most part, this lengthy track rarely steps away from the original wall. Yet the track is well worth the twenty minutes spent on it, and it feels shorter because of its hypnotic effect. It’s not a mammoth wall, but its crumbling, paced static is mesmerizing.

Transductor follows up with a similar themed track, “E.L.F.N”, which contains a lot of the same pitches of noise as “Stranglehold” but with a twist. The track begins with a sample of a person walking and a dog barking, and it unexpectedly jumps into a wall that’s very loudly mastered. It’s a great delayed opening to the wall, though, and I’m a sucker for those instances where the listener is caught off guard until the static smashes them in the face. Here is definitely the case from Transductor, who hits hard from the beginning and maintains the static rumbles. The track wouldn’t be as successful as it is by just sticking to the rigid wall sound it opens with, however; it’s too familiar for that. But Transductor simply incorporates tendrils of feedback at random times that add a change and depth to the sound. What at first seems like an error recurs again and again, and I really enjoyed the simplicity with which the wall could be interrupted by high pitches.

You know if you like HNW or not. These tracks rarely change. If you’re not a fan of that style of militant noise, you won’t like this. But if you like Ramirez’s work, or looking for the subtle changes in walls and the strange illusions that harsh noise walls can create, these are certainly quality walls.

Buy from R.O.N.F Records

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