Unknown – To All My Little Friends… (CD-R & C90(?), Not On Label)

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unknown to all my little friends

Unknown is a harsh noise wall project from Extreme Volume Pop; To All My Little Friends… was sent to me like the rest of Extreme Volume Pop/Meat Glue releases, sort of mysteriously packaged and DIY with both a CD-R and one-half of a C90 so I could listen to the medium in a way that I’d prefer. I chose to tackle the CD-R, and it offered up an interesting idea about the album: To All My Little Friends… is split up into 13 harsh noise walls that run about 3 minutes a piece with very little change within those walls, yet the CD-R runs as one long track without cuts.

For me, it’s more interesting for these tracks to run as stand-alone pieces, even if the listener can’t tell the difference when the song switches from one to the next. Cutting the piece into tracks makes sense because this is not one wall but a baker’s dozen of them, and tracks allows the listener to go back and potentially repeat that one wall for as long as they would like. With a block of walls such as the one on the tape and CD-R, we aren’t allowed to do that or at least as easily.

Diatribe aside, though, Unknown presents some excellent cuts of harsh noise walls experimenting with the different sounds and sources one can make. These thirteen walls range the gamut between general static and bass, rhythmic repetition within the sound, slight momentum, crunchy bass, very fizzy mid-range shuffling, and everywhere in between. As To All My Little Friends… is presented to the listener, it’s all sort of overwhelming because of the tremendous range of sounds, which is why I sort of lobby for these tracks to be chopped up instead of melded together. Still, one gets a great feel for what Unknown can do with static and bass, and the shortness of each wall is simply a taste of how organic and original HNW can sound.

“Cadaverous Hue” (title found from Bandcamp doesn’t work all that well as a harsh noise wall per se, and feels ostracized from the rest of the album. Otherwise, though, these tracks are spot-on and very well situated within the expanse of sound Unknown tends to work in. It’s an album that will appeal to both groups of harsh noise wall listeners: those that like crunchy, bass-driven noise, and those that don’t appreciate having to sit through long works.

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