Bachir Gemayel – HNWar (CD-R, Order of the HNW)

Bachir Gemayel contributes a very heavy dose of harsh noise wall the excellent Order of the HNW series. On this third edition, HNWar consists of one 20 minute wall that moves constantly throughout. It’s not the sort of thing one might expect from the series, but because of the thematic idea behind HNWar, it works quite well.

Bachir Gemayel uses bullets and misbaha beads as source material in this wall as a way to signify war. Reading his manifesto in the booklet that comes with the release is a great way to understand where HNWar is coming from; he describes the sound as ever fluctuating because that is the nature of war, with shrapnel and bullets flying all around you. HNWar does exactly that; it starts out with light static that crunches and spits, and then moves into heavier territory with blasts of static folding and unfolding. These textures sometimes do resemble their source material; if you listen closely, you can sort of hear the jangle of bullets being shaken or dropped. Other times, HNWar sounds like a full-on assault, where the source material fades into the fabric of the track.

There is a lot of movement to this piece, and though it might not appeal to those fans of HNW who like little to no movement in their walls, it certainly fits with the thematic imagery of the package. HNWar is a soundtrack to war; you can listen to it and imagine you are surrounded by war-torn lands, that bullets are perhaps whizzing past your head. Thank you, Bachir Gemayel, for a truly unsettling work.


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