Nundata - Wallnut Wall [Sweet Solitude - 2012]
Serbia has become quite a force in the international noise scene, producing such acts as Raven, Dead Body Collection, and Srdjan Eftimovski’s, harsh noise project Nundata. I became a convert of Nundata’s work after hearing his 2010 album Carousel, so I was quite excited to see this release appear in my review queue. Released on James Killick’s (Love Katy, Small Hours) now defunct Sweet Solitude label and advertised as HNW made with walnuts; I was even further intrigued. Walnuts are known as one of nature’s most potent sources of omega 3 fatty acids, but are they also nature’s most potent sound source for harsh noise?
Using walnuts as a sound source might seem like a novel idea, but truth be told, this isn’t my first experience with culinary harsh noise. I saw a noise group (Dot Dot Dot Orchestra) earlier this year that utilized coffee beans in a food processor to create some crushing sound waves, and I’ve seen videos of artists contact mic’ing meat, so maybe there’s more to food noise than I thought? But I digress. Nundata presents 2 walls, nearly 20 minutes a piece. The first wall starts out with a blast of white noise static. It stays fixed for about 2 minutes until we’re introduced to what sounds like warbling radio static shifts. Subtle thumps pepper the track (the walnuts?), though white noise is the dominant force. At around the 8 minute mark, the white noise haze builds into a thicker wall, with deeper bass and potent crackle. The wall becomes more frenzied, with repetitive marching thuds overtaking the white noise from earlier in the track. However, the wall ends much like it began with the white noise static again retaking supremacy.
The second track on this disc is the stronger of the two walls in my opinion. I’d actually consider it a harsh noise track with wallish elements as the piece is very active all the way through. It’s a gratifying rollick of harsh crunchiness, ostensibly produced with a contact mic and walnuts and closer to what I had envisioned this release to sound like. Running alongside the moving crunch is a flickering static that appears and disappears throughout the track.The two distinct sounds duke it out throughout the majority of the track. In the final minutes the concurrent sounds reach their zenith and degrade into the churning of gears.
I have to admit, this release falls slightly short of my expectations for walnut created noise walls. For some reason I imagined it to be crunchier, really emphasizing the cracking of shells. If it wasn’t spelled out for me I wouldn’t have guessed that walnuts, or any other foodstuffs, were the sound source of the walls at hand. Perhaps he was pulverizing the nuts in a grinder run through distortion pedals, however it was never apparent to me. That aside, I enjoyed the walls enough and Nundata is an artist I follow with great delight, however I don’t feel this is his strongest work. Extremely limited to 12 copies, this release will certainly appeal to the diehard, but to the uninitiated I might suggest Carousel or Entropy as a nice intro to one of Serbia’s most prolific noisers.