Doodshoofd – Boterzuur (CD-R, Not on Label)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review, Uncategorized

No image available.

Boterzuur is a more abrasive release from Doodshoofd, and it’s a relatively long-running disc featuring seven walls that creep and crawl. Often, Boterzuur‘s walls tend to be a bit more expansive than Doodshoofd’s other work, and they are not limited to the same static scrawl that most walls convey.

Opener “Boterzuur” shows the meandering feature of the work with an introduction that swirls before settling; even then, its background judder is always fluttering around with just the hint of change. The same is true of “De Hersenspoelers”, which doesn’t hit its wallish sound until a couple of minutes into the piece.

This reliance on intros and different textures allows Doodshoofd to expand his scope for a while before moving into the more limiting territory of the wall. It’s good to see the oscillations on Boterzuur, tones that tend to fluctuate pitch on and off throughout the track without totally changing the wall. It gives the listener a focal point while the stasis of the static rages. It also means Boterzuur is a bit more abrasive; it has some jagged edges to it that emphasizes the harsh of the HNW.

Track five, “Lisa”, does sound a bit like Doodshoofd’s sprawling work Heil HNW, although that might just be because I listened to that album first. It doesn’t matter if the track is maddeningly similar to that other work; it works in both areas, and here it’s slightly truncated. The longest track is “Bewust Zijn” at 25 minutes; second to last on the album, it’s a good closer but feels out of place in the structure of the disc because of the long nature of Boterzuur.

Overall, though, a freshly textured piece of wall from Doodshoofd that holds the attention through its lengthy format. Like always, Doodshoofd gives us almost too much of a good thing here, and it ensures a tough listen for those looking to devote their time to the entirety of the album.

Doodshoofd – Heil HNW (CD-R, Skum Rex)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review

Heil HNW is a testament to the form of the wall. Doodshoofd, who generally provides stationary walls anyway, gives us two separate pieces on this disc – one in the form of a quick, concise wall and the other in an almost album-length wall that rages on for about 45 minutes.

This CD-R is a little different, since the disc is printed with a picture, unlike most of Doodshoofd’s other releases. It’s still got the paper fold-out, the plastic coverlet (although that is now colored), and the DIY feeling of a self-produced recording. But I give credit for including the picture disc.

Onto the noise, we first get “Anti-Collectivist,” which clocks in at about five minutes with a quick and heady wall that focuses on sharp static. It’s a good display of Doodshoofd’s abilities at crafting a quality wall, and it even deconstructs itself before ending by first dropping some of the static and then shifting the sound to the left side of the balance, which normally doesn’t work for me but here sounds nicely dynamic.

The lengthy title track “Heil HNW” pummels in right after “Anti-Collectivist” with a roaring, echo-like static like that seems to feature a lot of bass in the middle of the track’s wall while keeping a base line of static and allowing another branch of static to oscillate pitch over and over again. It’s a hypnotizing track, because Doodshoofd ensures that the amount of variation is fixed in such a way to make it seem new every time the listener hears it. At 45  minutes, one expects to hear an enthralling wall, and Doodshoofd delivers, thankfully, with his ode to the wall.

Doodshoofd – Politiestaat (CD-R, Not on Label)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review

(Sorry, no cover image available)

Doodshoofd appears with another release, this one titled Politiestaat which I would assume means something to do with politics. This is another harsh noise wall release, and it’s actually quite long at about an hour and twenty minutes and seven tracks. Doodshoofd provides a lot of nuances on this release, though I would argue that Politiestaat is actually a bit too long and is difficult to listen to in one sitting.

First track “Subitliteiten” (? – it’s difficult to read the writing on the back) – explodes with a fury of rippling static and bass rumbles, which is leveled by feedback streams that writhe in and out in intervals. It’s a good track, because for all of its stasis there is a level of imitated movement by the feedback. “0605” is largely left side-balanced, a technique of which I’m fairly critical. It does offset the balance of a normal wall, but it also lessens the content of the wall, effectively weakening the hold it has on the listener. Again, Doodshoofd provides a quality wall that sees curls of feedback searing over the wall as the static lessens, but I can’t help wishing that this track was more rounded in the mastering.

The same holds true for “Omertuinlijk” (?), which is mostly left-balanced but with a bit of static penetrating the right side. This is more buzzing than the previous two tracks, with a bit of juddering that comes and goes as Doodshoofd allows. With “Van Stand”, Doodshoofd returns to the equilibrium of his walls, and this is a rigid static drive that changes very rarely, instead surging with different textures of static and a bit of gurgling behind that gives a nice atmospheric quality to the track.

The final tracks are notable for their longer length, and both “Politiestaat” and “Rechten + Plichten = Vrijheid?” deliver quality walls that really don’t change much from beginning to end, although the former does include a few pitch changes and oscillations. The latter is the longest at 22 minutes, and it follows a similar pattern, but this one features a deeper bass tone, thinner static, and more noticeable, prolonged high-pitch feedback. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the release, as its pitch gives it a harsher, more headache-inducing tone.

Politiestaat is more of what I’ve come to expect from Doodshoofd – unchanging walls, large amounts of noise, and nuanced static abrasions. But the two stumbling blocks are the second and third tracks, which lessen the anger and aggression of the wall by dropping the right-side audio. Still, the other hour of this disc is definitely hypnotizing.

Doodshoofd – Geenheidsworst (CD-R, Not On Label)

harsh noise, harsh noise wall, Noise, Review

I don’t know a lot about Doodshoofd. I don’t know how to pronounce the artist name (though I do like to think it’s pronounced with an emphasis on the end “d”); I don’t know what the English translation of his titles are; I don’t know whhere Almelo, Netherlands is (and that is a good indictment of the American education system). But I do know that Doodshoofd is a dude who loves to pack his discs with all manner of harsh static walls, and even though most of his releases say “no-fi wall noise”, I can tell you that Doodshoofd releases are mastered quite loud.

Geenheidsworst certainly looks DIY. It comes in a plastic sleeve with a coated CD-R, a combination of silver with pink edging. There are a couple inserts: the cover art, which is printed and quite dark so I can’t really make out what it is with a flip side being the same, and a back cover which details the tracklisting. It’s not a very attractive layout, but it doesn’t really need to be with the ugly walls on this disc.

“Dikke Lul, Kleine Dood” starts things off with a static spray that features somewhat fluctuating feedback atop it. There’s also a feeling that this is a jet taking off on your stereo, because in the background after the feedback cuts out is a looping sonic pulse that sounds like a jet cutting through the air in the distance. This creates a hypnotic effect as the listener follows the texture inside the static, and like most Doodshoofd, the track sticks in this wall for most of the track with occasional breaks which add feedback or oscillating textures.

Second is “Ambacht En Ongeluk”, tacking on another twenty minutes to the release. This one’s much more bassy, still with that static sizzle but with a rigorous amount of juddering in the mix that rarely switches pitch or jumps out of its flickering fast pace. This one’s pretty straight-forward, and it doesn’t change – at all – through its makeup until it devolves at the end.

At three-quarters of an hour, the title track “Geenheidsworst” makes up the bulk of this release.  It’s an immense track, full of pattering bass patterns that move at a fast clip with flowing and receding static. Despite what seems like little change, there are a few tweaks Doodshoofd uses to submerge the sound and lower it into more static. The track chugs along, at times shifting into sharp stabs of static and others continuing a very subdued, low-key monotone of bass pulsing underneath juddering static. Part of what makes this such an engaging 45 minutes is the fact that Doodshoofd is exploring what his initial noise sounds like layered under different textures, how subtle changes in static can affect the fluctuations of plodding bass. It might seem like a futile, simplistic effort to stretch a track – and sometimes it is – but it can also be very rewarding.

Geenheidsworst packs a lot of harsh noise into one CD-R, and this is true of a lot of his releases. While some seem stagnant, there’s always just a little bit of toying and instrumentation going on behind the scenes, and it’s more apparent on the title track than any other piece on here because of its tendency to stay almost totally rigid while switching the noise between different lenses. Certainly worth a listen for harsh noise wall fans, and regular listeners might enjoy the shifting sections featured in some parts of the track.