Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The HNW-Q No.10: Peter Keller (Condo Horro)

Robert Smithson, Partial Buried Woodshed

Dear Readers,

I am very proud to present the HNW-Q No.10 featuring this time Peter Keller and his absolutely outstanding new project called Condo Horro. It is no secret that I am bored and annoyed by 99,9 percent of the HNW-output today. You probably know my usual rant ;) :) that HNW fails on all levels and the good is news this time I won't repeat it (Do I hear faint applause in the background?). But this time it seems that I took this consternated approach towards HNW one step further to catapult me, myself and I out of this position. And almost automatically and unnoticed I started to be annoyed from being annoyed or to be bored from being bored leading me finally to a new state of serene sobriety. And this has always been the trigger for new discoveries. 

And guess what on day one of this new serene mental state I discovered Keller's Condo Horro on bandcamp. And I can say that I was immediately fascinated even struck by the brilliance of Keller's new interpretatory approach to this sadly otherwise nearly dead branch of experimental music. Being mainly and usually stuck in the repetitive circles of violence, atrocities, diverse fetishisms and perversions down to your usual boring crypto-religious or nihilistic (means nearly the same, but most of these freaks still don't get it) interpretations of the void and the ultra-boring reworkings, deformations or recyclings of already existing music (a schmock idea let's say from the 1950's of the last century. From Cage's 4'33'' to Fluxus and of course James Tenney's genius reworking of Elvis Presley's "Blue suede shoes"(1961). A boring idea sampled and repeated to death in popular culture.). But Keller's idea is different and innovative at once. Condo Horro is among the first projects (maybe Anonymous approach to read HNW as a tool for the remembrance of historical atrocities was also one step in the right direction. But this project was mostly ignored back then.) that creatively and concretely draws real conclusions out of Romain Perrot's mature innovation without copying it.

Condo Horro tries to inscribe and/or to extract the "void" out of and into the concrete problems of urban development and urban living (gentrification) and mirroring it or echoing it back sonically (through extremely clever soundsourcing) directly back into our living rooms. This makes his HNW-project Condo Horro highly inventive and gives it an almost documentary style and impetus. This re-opens the HNW basements (mostly governed by sadness, violence, perversions and depressions) and our ears for our social realities. Performing, deforming and reforming the HNW-void as a placeholder for a reenactment or cruel mirroring repetition of the modern world, its nihilistic excavations and all the wonderful pleasures of modern living. Keller stellt HNW wieder vom Kopf auf die Füsse (to use this german formulation describing usually the twist from idealism to materialism or from Hegel to Marx) and that's a good and necessary move. A collaborative project on cassette called The Climate Refugees is in the making for Altar of Waste this summer. Doing more research for a socio-political rebooting of the HNW paradigm.

In an impressive row of releases starting in 2015 Peter Keller's socio-political concretization of HNW becomes crystal clear. I highly recommend to look into Keller's facebook and bandcamp material. As a final hint I would like to link Condo Horro to Masami Akita's and David Phillips's commitment to animal rights. This is really intelligent stuff. Please support this awesome project ! I give you a few examples and here is Keller's bandcamp comment:"White noise walls for dystopian urban living.The lack of character and individuality are perfect for modern apathetic lifestyles.": Wall Out Those Who Have No Walls (Big Pharma, 2016), Bright Facades of Prosperity (Lurker Bias 2016), Blocks of Nothing (Unequal #3, 2016), Market Rate (Unequal #2, 2015), No Development (Unequal #1, 2015), The Landed Gentrifiers (HNW Netlabel 2015).

This is the HNW-Q No.10
brilliantly completed
by Peter Keller, Condo Horro.

The HNW-Q No. 10

[1] I discovered and invented HNW for myself, when I first heard Vomir and recognized the genius behind his anti-concept. I have been a big fan of proto-HNW acts like C.C.C.C., Incapacitants, Chop Shop, and others who composed with walls of static, but Vomir distilled the sounds and concept to its most perfect and pure statement.

Unfortunately, everyone either copied and worshipped and fetishized the idea of nothingness, or brought in the same transgressive themes repeated ad nauseum in harsh noise and power electronics. I saw the potential of HNW to be a vehicle for purity of concept, to the point of obsessiveness, much like the obsessive nature of its sound.

I had been thematically obsessive before in my long-running disease-focused project Bacillus, which also used textured walls as building blocks within harsh noise. After discovering HNW, I noticed there were few, if any, projects that had any socio-political themes; add to that the current issues of gentrification that I saw first-hand while living here in the fast-growing city of Seattle, and Condo Horro was born.

[2] The initial radicality of HNW would be preserved, if it was recognized.

[3] HNW is a glorious contradiction. The stasis of the walls is soothing, but the volume and textures is grating. It’s too harsh to be ambient, but too ambient to be jarring. It is serene agitation.

[4] HNW is not understood by most people, much like other radical art.

[5] I use the acronym H.N.W. because it’s a convenient shorthand and when others see it there is an implicit understanding of what to expect, broadly. I don’t mind using the genre name Harsh Noise Wall because that is exactly what it is.

[6] HNW is pure obsession.

[7] The sounds of machines are the sound of greed, consumption and erasure of humanity. They are employed as tools to extract from and devour the natural earth for profit. Recordings of machines are often used in my works, as a projection of inhumanity. HNW is probably the least “human” genre, with little or no hand guidance of the sound, or attempts at traditional artistry of sound. It is the closest thing to a machine-made sound.

[8] HNW helps our contradictions to be revealed.

[9] Monolithic Walls are closing in around us.

[10] The Future of HNW would be its transformation.

[11] The Death of HNW would be the beginning of something else—it would never really die, but just transform.

[12] HNW should be related to Dada to understand it better. Both Dada and HNW ignore traditional aesthetics and expectations; the idea to present pure static as sound art is the same as when a found urinal was presented as visual art.

[13] Singularity and Originality in HNW are rare, much as it is in any other genre.

[14] HNW should be called Static Minimalism, because the form is consistent with that description.

[15] HNW should not be called Static Minimalism, because it can be just as correct to call it Static Maximalism; it is also of excess, accumulation, and obsessiveness, where more is more.

[16] The permanent repetition of the HNW-Mantra (No ideas, no change, no dynamics, no development etc.) leads to complacency and redundancy. When it was first realized, it was the logical conclusion to the reductivist and minimalist approach to conceptualism, reached to its perfect end by Vomir. His anti-conceptualist manifesto was a deeply political statement, the socio-political allusions was lost on many in favor of a continuation of the fetishism of nihilism and of the void.

[17] Volume in HNW is necessary. Otherwise it would simply be ambient noise.

[18] Distortion in HNW is also an integral component; it helps provide the variety of textures; volume plus distortion is what constitutes harshness.

[19] My Unconscious is both soothed and energized in HNW.

[20] Narratives, Analogies and Metaphors in HNW are stepping stones to allow you to enter the void within the sound.

[21] Time and Space in HNW are both erased and expanded. The sustained dissonance tricks the perception by the ears and the mind.

[22] HNW reached a logical end with the idea of absolute Nothingness. The excavation left a giant hole, a blank slate, a tabula rasa for the reintroduction of new ideas.

[23] My HNW amplifies my politics.

[24] Minimal Music and Cosmic Drones are cousins of HNW, all of them branches off the same trunk of experimental music.

[25] Conceptualism is the future of HNW. Ever since Vomir reached the logical conclusion of reductivism and the pinnacle of anti-conceptualism, there is no other place to go but to build it back up with new ideas.

[26] The main ingredients of brilliant HNW are purity of vision.

[27] The purpose and the concept of my HNW are as criticism and protest. The walls of noise are a sonic and physical representation of the real walls surrounding us, at once a dissent against and a personification of the dark forces of greed, the concrete problems of urban development and living, and the social inequities of gentrification.

[28] The distinction between ANW / HNW is the gain and volume.

[29] The philosophy of HNW can change from person to person. HNW is a vessel for whatever anyone wants to project into it.

[30] My first words about HNW were this is a perfect statement.

[31] My final words about HNW would be 
to get ready to step into the final void.

[32] The phrase I would like to add to this questionary is reality is nothing and nothing is real.

Robert Smithson, Partial Buried Woodshed

Cordial thanks, Peter !
For further informations
Bandcamp is HERE 
Facebook is HERE