HangedUp - Clatter For Control
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HangedUp
Clatter For Control

With only three instrumental touch points between two people (two sticks and a bow), the duo of HangedUp (Genevieve Heistek and Eric Craven) have amazingly now carved out three fairly-varied albums now that are comprised completely of viola and drums. Like any group who stays together for a number of years and plays shows on a regular basis, the two have expanded and slightly changed their sound with each release, and although the changes aren't huge ones, they're interesting enough that it's worth paying attention to what they're doing.

One thing the group has managed with each successive release is to make things more and more massive at times. Clatter For Control is no different, as "Klang Klang" opens the release with a blistering attack of polyrhythmic drumming and a frenetic viola attack that doesn't relent for the entire 3 minute running time. "Alarm" follows and even though the pace isn't as quick, it's much more sinister as Gen builds woozy, squalling loops of viola while rustbucket percussion clatters around it. As the title suggests, the track unfolds with impending doom as drums start to spiral out of control and the string loops grow more and more intense. It's the soundtrack for an air raid, complete with sirens.

Fortunately, there's a bit of a breather as "A Different Kind Of Function" weaves an epic sweep of string loops that at times reaches a warm quartet level. That quiet moment is offset with several tracks that are easily the most brutal the duo have ever created, though, as "Fuck This Place" grinds with so much distortion (and Gen singing/screaming through the pickups on her viola) and noise that it almost sounds like metal while "Eksplozije" and "Derailleur" are both short and sweet smacks upside the head of wiggly string bursts and rapid-fire drum explosions.

Like a couple tracks on their previous release Kicker In Tow, "Go Let's Go" takes on more of a dancey feel and even though it sounds a little more standard in terms of structure, it's easily one of the better tracks on the entire release. There just isn't anyone doing instrumental chamber dance music, and although the rest of their work doesn't have many contemporaries, the duo is sharp as a tack when they kick the BPM up fast enough to boogie to and lay off the feedback enough that you want to tap your toe along with it rather than swing your arm air-guitar (or viola, rather) style. Overall, it's another varied album from the group with several highs and only a few lows.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2005-05-12 00:00:00