Trou – Sans/Ni (C20, Autistic Campaign)

drone noise wall, harsh noise, Noise, Review

Trou is a harsh noise project from Mieczko K., the same person who runs the label Ciel Bleu et Petits Oiseaux. On Sans/Ni, a short release for Memory Wave Trasnsmission veteran Autistic Campaign, he experiments with drone noise walls – a deviation on harsh noise walls that emphasizes the layered aspects of synth drones without the harshness of static and bass. It’s an interesting take on the subject matter, and drone noise wall (DNW) has seen a wide variety of artists exploring denser, less harsh sonic territories.

The cassette is split by side with two nine minute cuts. The first, “Sans”, finds Trou experimenting with a warbling synth tone while a deeper one provides the unshifting wall-like drone. The tendency for Trou to loop the synth tone and then cut it off unexpectedly in the midst of its repetition adds a hypnotic layer to the track that makes up for the fairly rigid structuring. Thinking in terms of HNW, Trou has given us that base tone that locks the listener in and the constant static shifts that draw the listener’s attention, and “Sans” is a compelling track that does require a few listens before the idea really clicks.

“Ni” is similar in its approach, again featuring a drone that undulates almost identically to “Sans.” This time, however, Trou incorporates a grittier tone, with static that wouldn’t seem out of place on a traditional HNW track. It adds nice texturing to the track, and Trou randomly cuts things off in the track with a pocket of silence to keep the listener engaged. Again, this concept carries through to the end of the track, although the drone seems to get muddier throughout. However, the warbling is a bit too similar to “Sans”.

Sans/Ni is an engaging experiment from Trou, and it shows that drone noise walls can be effective with the right approach. And Trou’s choice to keep things short – nine minutes per side, twenty overall – ensures the listener won’t tire of the sound, because I’m not sure how well DNW would work at longer intervals. This is an refreshing tape and I’m eager to hear more from Trou.