Sunday, October 16, 2016


Eugene Critchley's third full length is a massive set of utterly despondent DNW dedicated to illuminating various modes of pessimistic thought and the enervating nature of existence.  Across four lengthy walls of emptiness and bass-drenched sorrow, the suffering inherent in the act of living becomes apparent.  It has been remarked that no true pessimist ever commits suicide; "Pessimism Totale" takes that statement as a challenge and looks to force consideration on that matter, defiantly asking, "Why not commit suicide in the face of endless misery and sorrow?"  Is there a point to life when life is only a collage of hurts and regrets?  Camus' solution, that life should be met with scorn, rings hollow to me, as scorn doesn't much matter to a universe utterly indifferent to human feeling.  This life is nothing but ache, nothing but yearning.  This life is nothing.
Packaged as a double cassette set, with each tape having its own layout.  This is really one of the loveliest sets i've done, and i'm very proud of the music here as well.  Total depression.  Released in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $20 ppd. in the United States, $36 rest of world.


Friday, October 7, 2016


A split between Eugene Critchley and N0123NOISE, united in pessimism, despair, and hopelessness.  The sheer bleakness on display throughout this cassette threatens to overwhelm, with two 45 minutes compositions from each artist that betray a shared belief in existence as sorrow.  Massively, crushingly, empty and resigned to life's meaningless, yet somehow still tortured by an undefinable lack, the feeling of something missing.  Maybe something that was never there to begin with.  Maybe only a yearning.  But that yearning is haunting.  And that yearning hurts.  And it doesn't stop hurting.  Drone noise wall and pitch black death ambient.  The true bleak.
Released in a limited edition of 20 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $26 rest of world.



N0123NOISE returns to AOW with a full-length cassette of utterly despondent, torturously empty drone and ambient compositions, perfect for lonely contemplation of life's unending miseries and sadnesses.  "Maybe One Day I Will Find Happiness," despite its title, offers no real hope at all, instead suggesting that the quest for finding anything that makes life meaningful is doomed to failure simply by virtue of the basic fact that existence is only suffering to varying degrees.  Happiness is fleeting, forever condemned to be only a memory of a specific moment, a moment whose impact recedes over time; memories that fade with each passing day, becoming only wisps of fragile emotion barely recalled.  Total hopelessness; we are all lost and alone, forever.
Released in a limited edition of 20 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $26 rest of world.


Sunday, October 2, 2016


Gargantuan rework of both Air's score and the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's beautiful hallucinogenic ode to sadness, memories, and temporality, The Virgin Suicides.  I saw this in the theater in 1999 when it was released and it began my unerring love affair with the work of Sofia Coppola; i am hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker who so perfectly summons up the agonies of adolescence, agonies that don't really leave us but instead become the agonies of our adulthoods as well.  The film describes a pain that never leaves, a testament to the fact that time heals nothing and that every hurt we experience is carried with us forever.  Describing what this film means to me is difficult; it has simply been with me since I first saw it, has been a part of me and my emotional makeup since then.  It is important to me. 
My rework consists of ambient treatments of both Air's commissioned score and the actual soundtrack of the film.  It is at times hollow, achingly gorgeous, despondent, yearning, empty, suffocating, and beautiful.  Large, oceanic swathes of ambient sound to drown yourself in as you contemplate life's endless sadnesses (and they are endless.)  All in all, it's nearly 25 hours of music spread over 27 discs, with a harsh noise "Totality" recording of the film's entire audio track on DVD-R completing the set.
Each of the 27 discs + the DVD-R are packaged in heavy fold-over covers housed in a clear plastic bags, utilizing my favorites images from, and ephemera associated with, the film.  All of the screengrabs were done by me personally, from a blu-ray transfer of the film.  Also includes an informational insert, again printed on heavy cardstock.  The entire set is housed in a wooden box, which is hand-lettered by me (similar to Naughty's "My King" set from a few months ago).  Released in a limited edition of 3 hand-numbered copies.  $275 ppd. in the United States, $291 rest of world.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Uitgeschakeld returns to AOW with a crushing, deeply meditative collection of four massive 80 minute HNW compositions concerned with Eastern philosophy and tradition.  The pieces here will satisfy anyone familiar with the project's previous releases, as well as anyone looking for truly suffocating wall compositions, but here Uitgeschakeld also delves deeper into the relationship between nihilism and the nothingness of Buddhism, the place where nothing means anything and no longer has to, a place removed from meaning and open to possibility.  Open to beyond, past suffering.
On a personal note, this record has been tremendous help to me during a difficult personal time.  The depth and meditativeness of it, the calm in the midst of a storm...the ideas this record is getting at, the beauty they're hinting's difficult to achieve, at times seeming out of reach.  The pieces here have helped to drain me at times, to forget anxiety and hurt, and to simply focus on what is.  I hope that this record could do that for others.  Casper is one of the few people working in HNW that i think really understands what nihilism means and is, and his work as Uitgeschakeld has simply become the standard by which I will measure all other "nihilistic" projects.
Packaged as four separate albums, each with their own artwork, but united by a design and conceptual aesthetic.  Released in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $35 ppd. in the United States, $51 rest of world.



Restless and hyper-creative HNW wizard Ivan Sandokov (of Sleep Column and so many more fine projects) shifts gears and turns in a lengthy suite of absolutely, astonishingly and breath-takingly lovely ambient composititons.  The three pieces here are deep and beautifully constructed meditations on loss and hurt, the pain of memories drifting into oblivion along with the meaning of one's life.  I have found these pieces to be very moving and incredibly emotional; this record gives me goosebumps.  Definitely in the Basinski/Dunn/Drumm vein, with some Tim Hecker and Troum thrown in for good measure.  I do not make those comparisons lightly.  This release is gorgeous; certain to be in my top 10 noise/drone releases for the year.
Packaged in a DVD case, with minimal artwork done by the artist himself.  Released in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $26 rest of world.


Monday, September 26, 2016


Flood & Flame is a new collaborative project between Texas HNW iconoclasts Mitchell Rotunno (The Ebony Tower) and Christopher Charles Robinson (Big Hole) focused on the work of synth pop overlords CHVRCHES.  I'm very familiar with the output of both of these gentlemen, as they are friends to me and have both had multiple releases with AOW; the sounds here are utterly transfixing, noise taken to a place of deep melodicism without sacrificing intensity of any sort (musical or emotional.)  It's a thing of rare magick, these six discs, and i'm really at a loss to describe it further.  It's pop music taken to its logical, deconstructionist end, stretched out to infinity and imbued with noise's causticness and inaccessibility.  Pushing you away while at the same time beckoning you closer.  Tension and beauty, explosions and descents into sadness.  Over 8 hours of lovely sounds.  I wish i had made this record, it's just masterful.  If you are a fan of either Mitchell's or Christopher's projects, you need to hear this.
Packaged in a six-DVD case and released in a limited edition of 15 hand-numbered copies.  $30 ppd. in the United States, $46 rest of world.