VARIOUS ARTISTS  P.H.N.W. (Pure Harsh Noise Worship)  2 x 7"   (Antropofago Ateo)   14.98

     Showing a variety of approaches to harsh noise, this double 7" set was curated by Sissy Spacek's Charlie Mumma, and delivers pure, ego-destroying distortion from both current and former denizens of the Pacific Northwest noise scene. The P.H.N.W. compilation delivers four tracks of exclusive harsh noise, featuring side-long blasts of sonic destruction from Oscillating Innards (which features one of the guys from blackened grind metallers Knelt Rote), Okha (featuring a member of funeral doom outfit Aldebaran), Redneck, and HHL, who some of you might remember from their split tape with Demonologists that we did a few years back.

     And in keeping with the ultra-violent nature of everything else I've heard from that project, HHL's "Astral Incursion" is another crushing blast of severely distorted, ultra blown out noise, which sounds like it could have originally been a death metal recording that has been so over-modulated and distorted and strangled with shrieking feedback that it transformed into this roar of monstrous, rumbling, speaker-shredding noise. Nothing hypnotic about this one, it's utterly violent and seriously heavy. The flipside of that first record follows with Okha's "Universal Restitution (Live @ Baltigate 2011)", an alien electronic noisescape teeming with looping bird-like cries and repetitive whooping shrieks, laid out over a field of similarly looped low-end throb and whorls of guitar-like noise. It's certainly abrasive, but Okha also reveals a weird, musicality within this dense din of noise and loops, an eerie droning melody taking shape as the track evolves. It's sort of similar to the chirping psychedelic blasts of Bastard Noise, and with a comparable level of intensity.

     The second record starts off with Oscillating Innards' "Suspended In Vanity", another one of Gordon Ashworth's hyper-detailed pointillist harsh noise pieces; here, micro-bursts of static and fluttering bass tones flame out in a vast black void, gradually accompanied by distant metallic rattles that echo in the depths, becoming more abrasive and active as the track evolves. There's a muted junk-noise aspect to this, but there's also an attention to space that you don't hear as often with artists like K2 and Hal Hutchinson. The set closes with Redneck's "Faceless", a wall of merciless black static and distorted rumble that's the only real adherent to the "HNW" aesthetic on this compilation. It unleashes a mesmeric mass of searing distorted pulses and skull-crushing distorted rumble that sounds especially savage when played at higher levels of volume, and fans of both Vomir and The Rita will find a similar oppressive, nihilistic vibe with this stuff.

     Comes in a black and white sleeve with a printed foldout insert, limited to two hundred fifty copies.