Album Review

Huerco S. – “Colonial Patterns” – [Software Studios]

Thurston Hunger   6/6/2014   A Library, CD

A fitting release for the Software Studios label. Huerco S (aka
Brian Leeds) primarily creates his music on his laptop, with
minimal input from other sonic gear. Granted that, it is a bit
surprising how dirty his work sounds, clicking more grit than a lot
of analog addicts can scrape and squeeze. His beats are sort of
droney to me, they appear, they adhere and (then as they typically
don’t change for the length of a track) they disappear although
they are still techno-ically there. Those drum samples he does use
feel muffled, pillow punchers more than dancefloor stompers.
Airtight computer connection maybe? Definitely of the “it’s got a
beat but you can’t dance to it” flavor favored by KFJC’s own
Belladonna. “Ragtime U.S.A. (Warning)” is an example where the
basic beat vanishes lost between the early needle sampled spin, and
the slow voice morph and a kind of Detroit synth funkline. A very
short “Hopewell (Devil)” has nice phased washes. Yep, Huerco S.
(“Kid S” in translation?) loves his parentheses. Between the track
titles, I get the vibe that Leeds is an astute dude, and the album
title make me wonder if he’s owning up to plunder, not for his birth
ancestors, but for his musical (re-)manufacture. There are traces of
Basic Channel drive, FAX float, Rephlex shimmer and he mentioned
Hospital Records as a launch point from his punk/metal youth. Any
jungle has been clearcut away on this, it’s more bumm and drass.
Color me curious where he’s headed, and I don’t mean from Kansas City
to Brooklyn. Actually, I see flesh and gears in his future.
-Thurston Hunger

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