One would imagine that being as far removed from the hubs of contemporary electronic innovation as possible is no good thing. Yet Australian Eugene Hector, an outsider in almost every sense of the word, uses his antipodal position to great effect; amalgamating influences from every part of the globe, he crafts schizophrenic, meandering tracks that manage to mystify and delight simultaneously. Operating under multiple aliases, he experiments radically with form as well as matter to his heart's (dis)content. It therefore comes as no surprise that Leary Blips, his latest offering on Trilogy Tapes, is his most unclassifiable work yet.
The instant point of comparison is Actress; both artists employ dichotomous aural elements in novel ways, composing off-kilter sonic structures that fundamentally shouldn't work, if only because the songs feel like they could unravel at any second. Hector doesn't hesitate to veer off from the highway, which only adds to this effect. The sounds stumble along drunkenly yet somehow still sound incredibly lucid and alive. A schizophrenic mix of pitched-up monosyllabic ramblings, snapping snares and dissonant synths, the title track is perhaps the best illustration of Hector's unique combinations of juke and deranged R&B sampling. Even the four-to-the-floor reworking of the song "Extended Trip" offers only temporary stability, a familiar respite which is constantly undermined by the chirping vocals and distracted instruments. Likewise, the sublimely chaotic call-and-response on the otherwise serene "Someday" conjures up images of a fantastic hip-hop gospel.
It is entirely to Hector's credit that he can synthesize so many disparate elements into a cohesive whole. Of course, with so much musical terrain being explored at once, any coherent flow is almost impossible to achieve; Leary Blips is a series of exploratory sketches rather than a conclusive and fully articulate work. Even so, Carey's work thrives on impatient adolescence and perpetual movement. So while these compositions sound anything but childish, it is precisely in the restless immaturity that the power of the work resides.
- Published /
Mon / 4 Jun 2012
- Words /