War Story is a series of tapes issued through the eponymous label, each tape – with the exception of the Atlantikwall set – featuring two sides of walls recorded directly onto tape and issued, as such, in an edition of 1. The tapes were issued under the Paniek moniker, a variation of Panic (here rendered in Dutch), which was my first exclusively HNW venture.
The idea for the series originated in a recording that was inspired by Concrete Threat’s Young Blood and a newspaper article from which the art that was to be used for the first War Story tape, Brethren, was clipped. This recording, entitled Brethren I (Side A), was made available on Soundcloud and would eventually be followed by a second track, Brethren I (Side B) (both tracks were ultimately uploaded to Bandcamp here). At this point, of course, the series’ initial entry may have the semblance of being on tape, but it was only a digital venture.
The series made its tape debute, finally, in August 2011, with the release of Brethren, which shared its name and artwork with the digital version available on Soundcloud, but which featured all new recordings, laid down directly on tape. A further three tapes were recorded and issued that year: Normandy (#2), We Threw Our Mortars (#3) and M4 Sherman (#4). All tapes were distributed through the then-current incarnation of the HNW board, though I can’t remember who received which tape (or who even received them). All first four tapes were, if I recall correctly, recorded onto recycled tapes and thus varied in length (I haven’t kept record of their durations and back-ups of the tracks do not exist).
The series lay dormant for several years, until I was inspired to record again in 2015. Two tapes were recorded that year: The Ruins Of Itri Square (#5) and Amidst This Rain Of Shells (#6). The release of these tapes was announced through Facebook, where I wrote the following about the creation processes behind them:
The recording process for these was slightly different. I initially recorded two walls, then dubbed these to a tape master and then recorded them back and forth between the master tape and a second generation master tape, gradually degrading the walls. When I deemed them sufficiently degraded I dubbed them to the final (released) tape. The first and second generation masters were then erased and the original recordings deleted.
Back-ups of these tracks, as such, neither exist. The tapes used for The Ruins Of Itri Square and Amidst This Rain Of Shells were not so much recycled: they were left-over shells from an order of tapes I had received a while before. One of the two – the C4 used for The Ruins Of Itri Square – had been wrongly loaded (and was supposed to have been a C60 – these were used for the Clock Tower tape on Void Worship). The C22 for Amidst This Rain Of Shells, meanwhile, was a left-over tape for the run of Wulfy Benzo’s Dogglefox tape, also on Void Worship (and was probably actually a C23, though the info I can find on it now seems contradictory).
The currently final entry into the War Story series was issued in 2016. The creation process differed again. For Atlantikwall, the tracks were pre-recorded, then dubbed onto tape. Contrary to the previous releases, since the tracks were pre-recorded, they could be backed up, and I chose to do so in this particular instance (clearly, I found it hard to say goodbye to). All in all, Atlantikwall contained six hours of material, spread over four C90 tapes in a large white 4-way presentation case. The eight tracks featured on it each came in at 45 minutes sharp. I’ve occasionally distributed the files to people requestion them specifically, but recently uploaded it to Bandcamp instead, where it can now be streamed. You can find it here.