Vomir – Application à Aphistemi (CD, Maisonbruit)

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A strange thing happened to me when I popped in Vomir’s new full-length smattering of wall noise. I was in the shower, a place I normally like to think and listen to noise, when I heard the mammoth “Paulina Semilionova irait à l’équarrissage” begin to take on sonic harmonies that sounded out of place for a Vomir record. I scrutinized the sound, tried to search for where exactly these oscillating tones were coming from, and eventually found that they were all in my head, a harmonic bit of sound crafted by my mind converging the sounds Vomir was making to produce a lilting melody behind the noise.

I thought about this for a while, tried to recreate the sound by listening again out of the shower and couldn’t. And I wondered if perhaps I was faulty for hearing things that weren’t in the wall. But I have since come to the conclusion that it’s not wrong to hear tones that aren’t there, but that it’s just another factor of the immobile and infinite wall of sound Vomir offers up.

So with that long diatribe into Application à Aphistemi, I’d like to point out that the two tracks on here are unflinching, unchanging harsh noise walls… and yet they’re different for each listener. The aforementioned first track “Paulina Semilionova irait à l’équarrissage” presents the same sort of magnetic, polarizing, and unwavering static wall Vomir is known for, but the intricacies of this near-40 minute track come from the rigidities of the artist sound. By offering up forty full minutes of the same, eternal sound, Vomir in essence gives the (attentive) listener two options: you either explore that wall in all of its nuanced glory, or you listen to it for what it is, a static-and-bass-rumble offering that, without an in-depth search, will sound exactly the same as other Vomir records. But for those who choose the former option, there’s a bevy of sounds in this lengthy cut that will keep you as hypnotized as you want to be. Static and rumbles converge and coalesce as your focus permits, and that, my friends, is exactly why HNW is so glorious.

And then we go in a completely different direction with 18-minute “L’Apparence Du Vrai est un moment du faux”, a wall that was made with a 12-string electric acoustic guitar. Vomir doesn’t start the wall immediately; instead, there’s a moment wherethe listener can hear the strum of the steel strings, and then we’re off on a huge and metallic wall of wavering, fast-paced acousti-caustic walls. You can hear the strums of the guitar strings, but the speed and oscillations make the listener feel off-balance and disoriented. The repetitive strum-wall starts to fade as a blacker, dense fog of a wall takes over that’s entirely hard to explain. It’s slightly ambient, with no real harsh lows or highs to it, yet it still retains an ominous undercurrent that quickly overtakes the strumming. It’s this movement, the slow but unstoppable enveloping by the dark cloud of sound, that really makes the track feel grim and bleak, and when Vomir fades the guitar out with a dead stop, the lingering effects of the dread remain.

Application à Aphistemi ensures that no two people will hear the same sound at the same time within these walls. The niches of each, though mostly unmoving, are so deep and profound that there’s only one thing to do within these incredibly dense walls: move through them like an explorer, and never question the sounds that you’re hearing, whether they be man-made or mind-made with the combinations the wall offers.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Wonderful!,

    Further to your passage, “sonic harmonies that sounded out of place for a Vomir record. I scrutinized the sound, tried to search for where exactly these oscillating tones were coming from, and eventually found that they were all in my head” – I often find myself hearing vocals buried in Vomir’s work; when I listened recently to his album on Urishima, I was effortlessly able to discern a vocal, shouting indecipherable lyrics, the entire way through it!

    It is fantastic work and I only hope that there aren’t people out there who “listen to it for what it is, a static-and-bass-rumble offering ” … for their sakes, because they would be missing out on traversing a wonderful and very personal sonic landscape.

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