Few contemporary noise artists have explored the use of scrap metal to the extent that Hal Hutchinson has with his "Factory of Metal Sound" aesthetic. The dense, brutally forceful metalscapes that this UK noisemaker has been creating in recent years follows in a tradition of metal manipulation previously examined by Japanese noisician K2 and Canadian artist Alan Bloor (aka Knurl), but Hutchinson uses a unique approach to the way he assembles and layers his recordings of chains, pipes, sheet metal, metal barrels, and other metallic objects being smashed and dragged and beaten. What began as a cacophony of skull-scraping clatter becomes transformed into something much more complex, as his "Factory" method re-combines and blends these sounds together into a strangely structured colossus of entropic industrial pandemonium. Known previously for his forays into harsh noise and death industrial with the projects like Execution Support Act, Pollutive Static, Meatgrinder, Hutchinson's current direction moves into a truly industrial realm of sound, totally devoted to the sheer physicality of metal colliding against metal, and recent releases from Hutchinson on Freak Animal Records and Unrest Productions have produced some of the most compelling scrap-metal noisescapes to appear in recent years.
With the new full length collection Wreckage Installations And Metalworks, Hutchinson delivers seven tracks of these immense noisescapes and blasts of orchestrated machine-shop annihilation. It's intensely abrasive, somewhat comparable to Molekular Terrorism-era K2, but stripped down to the sound of pure metal; attentive listening yields surprising results, as there's a haunting, undefinable element to these recordings heard in the ghostly groan of metal appearing beneath the more abrasive layers of crashing junk scrap. These repetitive scraping tones almost seem to take on an eerie accidental melodic quality, as the mountains of scrap metal and heavy chains slowly shift and crumble around you, forming into subliminal patterns as the tracks unfold. The album is divided into two sections: the first, Wreckage Installation I-III, consists of longer, fifteen minute-plus studies in heavily layered, oppressive scrap-metal noise, the sound dense and detailed, layer upon layer of scraping, banging metal piled on top of each other to create this grim factory-noise symphony, with a massive undercurrent of low-end noise rumbling in the depths of the mix. These tracks sound absolutely crushing when played through a set of high quality speakers, and maximum volume truly reveals the amount of depth and intricacy that exists in these sprawling, seething industrial noisescapes. The second half of the album consists of a series of shorter, more chaotic exercises in junk-metal obliteration titled Metalwork Installation I-IV, these recordings featuring a less structured and noisier sound, each one a ceaseless maelstrom of experimental metalblast, thunderous avalanches of random scrap metal and tectonic bass rumble compacted into five minutes chunks of sound.
Along with the CD, Wreckage Installations includes a booklet with liner notes from Hutchinson that examine his creative process behind these recordings, and a set of six double-sided black and white photo prints depicting Hutchinson's stark, high-contrast images of corroded, hulking factory equipment. Released as part of the Crucial Blaze Series.