Wilt – “Wither” CD
Limited to 500 – Released May 2001 – Available
Wilt extol the invisible corners of the thirsty earth with this exaltation of decay and reclamation. Best described as Noise Ambient, “Wither” is a aural quagmire of dusky vapors and ivy draped relics, grating erosions and the thorny shadows that rise and fall across dying landscapes. Moldering Dark Noise from this inspired American project.


Audio Samples… Coming Soon


Thick, multi-layered, murky sonic landscapes.Through the use of synths, voice, found objects, zither and field recordings, maestro James P. Keeler’s Wilt, on Wither (other releases have distinctively different agendas), creates murky landscapes of contained turbulence. The music/noise has multiple layers, and most of what occupies one’s focus is buried under the sonic topsoil of heavy drones with ragged, distortion-crusted edges. The center of “A Bridge Between Two Drums” is calm, as a sporadic, percussive heartbeat leads one towards looped wind chimes rattling rather nervously, because though the center is calm, the circumference is alive, like a raging wind tunnel, like the oppressive embrace of a tightly coiled tornado. Creaking rubber massaged by irritating, thin strands of tinfoil introduces “Soiled,” sounding like a conversation between static and muffled textures, all emanating from with a contorted larynx. The annoying cadences of buzzing flies is looped on the appropriately titled “The Burden Of Flies,” while morose synth clouds, like discarded machines and junkyard debris, join the flies in feasting on the stench-laden landfill. The morbid buffet continues on “Fallen Harvest,” in which a forest is razed by hungry machines that gnaw on everything in their path during the brief, violent upheaval. “Winterkill” seems recorded from within the frozen bone, the murky undercurrent (the heart of the chilly darkness here) sliding into the soul; death is imminent, releasing synth shadows that trickle like memories culled from the dungeon of subconscious, free to disperse into nothingness. Another powerful presentation from one of the noise underground’s gems, Crionic Mind. -JC Smith

7/10 – Ahhh, here are some bleak electronic soundscapes, in fact darker than Wilt’s recent full-length on The Rectrix label. The disc opens with the sounds of flames surrounded by deep, windy swirls of depth. “A Bridge Between Two Drums” is actually thinner with distorted noise and thick, percussive rhythms eventually fading into chiming tones. “Shivering Spine” is the first truly harsh attack, complete with a full range of frequencies. “Mud” is also rather harsh, appropriately enough with a “muddy” sound to it. Surprisingly, a large portion of the early middle section of the CD is fairly aggressive. “The Burden of Flies” contains samples of flies mingling with dismal effects and churning undercurrents, though possibly more straightforward than it needed to be, as many of the other tracks are less direct. “Taunting the Raven” is very brief, but ominous with its undulating industrial pulse. Nice. Some of these tracks aren’t as distinctly original as previous material I’ve heard from Wilt. However, “Wither” shows progression in other areas. For instance, everything is recorded perfectly and consistently. Also, this is a far more cohesive whole, with deliberate intentions. The collection of recordings feels more unified: The over all appearance, the mood, even the track titles all seem consistent with one another. I love the cover art, fiery and hellish abstract, foggy imagery – a perfect, suggestive visual representation of the music. The inner booklet contains similar imagery in black and white, with recognizable angelic statues present. In the end this is another curious effort from Wilt, as there are many sides to this project. I think this should appeal to numerous fans, as a symmetrical balance between opposing styles has been achieved. [Notable tracks: Still… Violent Waters, Taunting the Raven, Winterkill]

Here it is. Released after Wilt’s amazing debut album “The Black Box Aesthetics” and a couple of months Ad Noiseam’s release “Amidst a spacious fabric” (which is out now by the way), “Wither” is a noisy offering from America’s best dark ambient musician of the moment. Released on Gruntsplatter’s Crionic Mind label, it sometimes pays on hommage to this act, with distorted and epic progressions in noise, but otherwise prevents a really interesting and original of how to combine atmospheres and saturation. “Wither” is made of accoustic sounds (a zither, later to be found even more on “Amidst a spacious fabric”, some voices, and some field recordings done by burying recording devices in the ground), treated and put together. The first consequence of this is that, as usual with Wilt, the textures are very rich and really original. These are not sounds taken from some synthesizer, and you can hear it very clearly. Then, the majestic but subtle Wilt touch is of course present, being a slow evolution towards a climax in the tracks, as well as a progression towards richer and richer layers… However, the somber tones of “The black box aesthetics” and the accoustic dynamics of “Amidst a spacious fabric” are here replaced by distortion and scraping noises. Not chaotic and quite cohesive, these saturated elements are full of very low frequencies and add to the deepness of Wilt’s music. Lush, dense and intense, Wither is also an album that doesn’t get all blurry and vague when listened to very loud. On the contrary, you keep on concetrating on the subtitlities, the rare loops, the small details in sounds. And you will also be surprised by the diversity of the tracks, from the most ambient “Passage of seasons” to the noisier “Mud” or to my favorite and grandiose “Soiled”…. I guess Wilt could, in a way, be linked both to the european sound of death industrial (think north of Europe) and to the rising north american noise scene (with Troniks, Crionic Mind, or Fusion Audio, among others). But, with his high productivity and his varied talent, James Keeler goes beyong the first and could be a figurehead of the second. This is not just drones and plain soundscapes, this is not just saturated noise, but really a thoughtful, well written and well composed music (just listen to “Still… violent waters” or “From dying branches” if you doubt). Wilt is an act that takes his style and force it to step ever further. It is possible to suppose that this guy will be considered in some years as a milestone of dark and noise music, and those who will have missed “Wither” and his other current releases will regret it.

Dark, dark ambient noise – complex, ever-changing and very engaging. Much harsher at times than I’d expected given what little I’ve heard from WILT before this, occasionally venturing into power electronics stylizations (but with much more complexity than most PE ever achieves) yet at other times still quite subdued and introspective, even depressive. This contrast is one of the material’s strongest points, a quality that will certainly help to set WILT apart from others in the dark noise scene. There’s a very haunting quality overall with this material, a strange feeling almost as if you know there’s something more to what you’re hearing than initially meets the ear – like maybe some of the sounds are coming not from a synthesizer’s circuitry or computer’s soundcard but from somewhere truly beyond. An impressive achievement and a strong release through and through.- Raúl

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