Big Hole has become another artist in the vast field of harsh noise wall known for his great works; The Pearl of My Renaissance, an album recorded back in February 2015, is a self-released CD-R consisting of one massive lengthy wall, clocking in at 72 minutes. The opening sound bite is clearly from Daniel von Bargen (RIP), his voice strikingly noticeable, and at first it seems like – based on the subject matter of other Big Hole works – the dialogue is taken from a film like the notorious Lord of Illusions. However, further inspection reveals that The Pearl of My Renaissance actually comes from a Malcolm in the Middle episode, a pleasantly surprising reference for those willing to do the research.
“The Pearl of My Renaissance” is specifically harsh noise wall, and it’s a cut that’s often particularly overwhelming. There’s very little bass presence in this wall, with a heavy reliance on the omnipresent static in the forefront of the track. This leaves a less dense listening experience, with just a subtle hint of deeper tones toward the background – occasional rumblings that make it through the thicket of crackling sound. The static textures on top are centered and, over time, become difficult to parse because of the insistence of their sound. Big Hole leaves little space in the crackle, and “The Pearl of My Renaissance” becomes akin to torrential rains continually pounding on a thin tin roof.
There are occasional very subtle changes throughout – slight adjustments to the static, I think – but honestly Big Hole remains quite stoic throughout The Pearl of My Renaissance. It’s a difficult listen that’s tough on the ears, and the ending leaves a vacuous silence. This is an uncompromisingly harsh release, and those that last the 72 minutes will feel depleted of energy. That is the point, and Big Hole’s work delivers.