Review: Michael Wall – Two Walls (self-released, Mar 10)

It’s been a long time since I’ve considered myself a fan of Vomir (or any of Perrot’s other projects), but some of his walls still hit the spot when I’m in the mood for something brutal but classic. What doesn’t have any staying power, however, is the all-caps nihilist “NO DEVELOPMENT NO ENTERTAINMENT” bullshit that reduces his music to an amusing novelty for many—and it’s his own fault. If one really wants to adopt and embody the rock-solid, monolithic ontological features of wall noise, it’s much more appealing and respectful to a field in which many do work with elements like change and development and entertainment to go the more modest route “Michael Wall” does with his brief but emphatic manifesto for Two Walls: “TWO WALLS / RECORDED ONTO TAPE / UNTIL END OF TAPE / ALL LIVE / NO TIME STRETCHING / NO BULLSHIT / NOISE WALL / FOREVER.” In this way the classification as an art form is actually subverted; going to such trouble to identify what something isn’t just exposes more of what it is, and certainly doesn’t work toward artlessness in any way. But no matter how much actual drive or passion was used to create these two fifteen-minute slabs they swirl and burn with unyielding weight. The layering is at once detailed and obscurely dense: heavy avalanches of crunching distortion that seem to originate from different sources crash together and congeal into a cacophony of collisions; bombarded brain finds softer currents of crackle mashed between the rubble. Two Walls is 100% presented as a love letter to the genre as a whole, so going in one definitely expects a relatively straightforward affair, but the force and fury of these blasting transmissions makes it an essential and addictive experience.