Static Park is Julien Skrobek’s other project – he’s got a ton of them, sometimes difficult to keep track of, but always very enjoyable to listen to. He’s released a few different variations on harsh noise wall with this moniker but Cruel Mutação is fairly rigid HNW/ambient noise wall making. The release itself is a two-disc set of nearly two hours, meant to be the soundtrack to a fictional zombie film. What follows is nine walls of crunchy textures that are nearly unmoving, a lengthy but rewarding listen.
First wall is called “Um Barco Misterioso” clocking in at jut under 14 minutes. This one is more ambient than some of the other ones, starting things off with a low rumble and a clicking static crunch that has quite a bit of space within the wall. Behind it is a nice bass texture that sort of warbles in its own way; it’s a track that is focused on the minimal, and thinking of this as a film soundtrack, it’s the beginning of the rising action. The second wall is “Jovens Imprudentes,” a bit shorter at the 12 minute mark, and this one has a roiling but mostly unbroken low bass line along with static that sounds a little like rain falling on a tom-tom snare drum – it’s less a crackle than a hollow repetitive tapping, but it works rather well because of the small emptiness within the static.
“Um Trago Na Pele” is next, another 11 minute wall that offers a more traditional harsh/ambient noise drone – this is a crackling bass static texture, swiftly roiling, with pops in between what amounts to something of a condensed and unified sound. The way “Borboleta De Carne” slams in with a huge wall blast directly after the previous track is a testament to how well Static Park has put this album together – most of the walls roll right into each other, and this one’s heavy bass background textures and higher-end static crunch leaves the listener in a state of shock after such an ambient piece prior. “Encontro Com O Professor Z” rounds out this disc with a crackling fire wall, a rumbling steady bass in the background with churning chunky static writhing on top of it. I like how this one makes good use of that background bass – the static is important, but that rumbling texture is clearly meant to be another focal point.
Onto the second disc, we have “Contagio” up first, with a muffled bass line in the back that moves rapidly and a thinner line of static crackle at the forefront; that static has a syrupy texture to it that makes it feel viscous and blurred. “Estao Na Casa,” on the other hand, has virtually no bass in the mix, instead opting for a rather solitary line of static crunch with a slight buzzing in the background. This track feels the least significant of the quartet in that regard, unable to capture my attention as much as the other walls’ swelled textures.
“Ossos Para O Zumbi” kicks in with a low, fast-paced rumble and a succinct crackle – there appear to be subtle areas of space in both textures, leaving the listener continually listening for change. The bass rumbles even seem to surge every now and again, although that could just be imagination. Finally, “Volta Na Terra” concludes the album/movie with a slower ambling rumble of very low static; it’s somewhat equivalent to an idling motorcycle with a bad motor. It’s a shift away from the traditional walls on this disc but the minimalism attracts, a slow fade-out for the two hours of harsh noise walls on Cruel Mutação.
I don’t think there’s any question about Julien Skrobek and Static Park’s abilities to craft good walls. If you’ve liked his output before, this special release is a no-brainer. Of the 8 tracks, many of them have significant alterations to what one consider generic wall noise, making it a spectacular listen for those not too stuck on the definition. And the way the walls move directly into each other is fascinating. If you can, pick this two-disc set up.