Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hintergrund - Nemesis

Two piece drone outfit Hintergrund hail from Ohio and lack any kind of boundaries, form, or subject. Instead, Hintergrund operates in a gaseous territory where aspects of ambiance, noise, and drone mesh together in a form that usually lacks any kind of discernible pulse. Hintergrund conjure up nothing in the way of riffs, vocals, or typical melodies and that's fine by me. These attributes are far from negative; they're all positive.

Hintergrund's most promising aspect is their enchanting ability to let you zone out; something much music strives for and achieves in two drastically different ways. Thankfully the ability to zone out admist Nemesis is thanks to its superb ambiance and not its boring nature. Slow, ethereal  and omniscient is probably the best way to describe this mixture of prepared saxophones (whatever those are), guitars, loops, circuit bending, and other stuff. It's not an album to put on for a minute or two, or even for a song, but rather for an extended period in which you're free of distractions.

While Nemesis is thankfully a full album effort, tracks do offer varied approaches as one might be more subdued than its noisy neighbor ("As the Elk Lays Down to Die" is a floating, calm track and its offset by "Circuit" which is a subdued outing of feedback, white noise and swirling echoes). "Herbstmord", the track before the two previously mentioned acts as a teaser as it mashes both harsh and pleasant noises into easily the band's best effort.

If I were to complain - it would be in the name of my own super subjective taste - I would like a bit more melody or maybe some dreamy vocals (or haunting) thrown into the mix. But regardless, Nemesis, is a great piece of abstract noise that should appeal to a broad lot of you.

Made available by the band, here's a download.


DesiccatedVeins said...

I'll have to give this a listen, it's getting to be drone season soon. That bleak stretch in late January is absolutely perfect for it.

FYI, prepared saxophone is the same as prepared guitar [] or prepared piano: you use various means to alter the timbre of the instrument, mostly by sticking different things in different places. I fooled around with prepared guitar stuff with an old shitty guitar I had, but never made anything memorable enough to record. Sonic Youth are properly the most famous example of prepared guitar, and John Cage is a popular example of prepared piano.

I can't remember if I've ever recommended Grouper to you, but if you like drone but wish it had vocals, her Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill album is the perfect solution.

DesiccatedVeins said...

*probably the most famous example

Perpetual Strife said...

Man you've suggested a lot of great things. I need some time to just sit down and shift through them all.

And thanks about the whole sax thing. my pops plays a tenor and I trying to picture him as Tetsuo with saxaphones sticking out of him and making drone and it wasn't quite clicking.

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