White Gimp Mask – Untitled (C30, WGM Tapes & Vinyl)

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wgm untitled

You know what to expect from White Gimp Mask, AKA Robert Newsome – totally drenched sonics, often disrupting any sense of peace. That changes a little bit on this untitled cassette, however, since WGM limits its output with a few electronics and a microphone recorded in a hunting tower. There’s nothing here that allows for the kind of manipulation and wall-like sounds WGM normally does, and this really expands the output on this recording.

The first untitled side is much harsher than the second, featuring a lot of miked feedback, occasional rumbles, and the scratchiness of closely-recorded static. This carries on for much of the side, with WGM switching on and off between the rumbles and crackles of a wall to a piercing segment in which high doses of feedback are offset by minimal static. It’s an effective side, abrasive yet totally focused.

It’s on side B where the limits of the microphone/minimal electronics usage is shown. The track starts off with occasional rumbles of bass and a straight-forward whistle, at times opening up for crunch but maintaining a fairly placid sound. After a while, a blast of electronics fills the track – the whistle drops out, the bass is torched, and everything becomes much thicker. WGM continues the patterns throughout the track, and it makes for one great listen.

The minimal touches on Untitled don’t create the thickest or most abrasive of harsh noise, but the imposed limitations for the artist force the tracks to find clever ways to get around this obstacle. Often, minimalism is an area that harsh noise overlooks, but here White Gimp Mask uses sparse soundscapes to conjure up big sounds.

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