Wednesday, February 18, 2015

HUSHER “Madonna of Bellevue” C60 (Elm Recordings)



Jesus. Look gang, I’m a fan of all the crazy musics, just like the rest of you lot. I go in for a bit of noise here, a bit of industrial there, and a whole ton of ambient synth wash whenever I can get my hands on it. There’s a little of all of that in Husher’s Madonna of Bellevue, which stretches for 60 minutes in all directions. It’s a little daunting, I’m gonna be honest. Because there’s very little to grab onto.

Hey, what? So I’m not INTO IT, OK? Big FREAKIN deal. But I’m calling it like I sees it, and I sees a big old heap of static out of which tones and other things periodically poke. There’s rhythmic pulses here and there, but little rising above the level of electrical lines being tapped with a metronome. The label, Elm Recordings (which has released some nice things, IMO) has this to say about it: “New industrial-influenced synth project from prolific New Haven-based musician Donovan Fazzino (Arabian Blade, Hate Your Guts). Ever-changing textures and dynamics build tension while dark, rhythmic melodies draw in the listener.”

Can I just say I love the name Arabian Blade? Let’s get that out of the way.

Anyhoo, it’s hard for me to latch on to the “tension” Fazzino’s going for here, mainly because early on we’re treated to tones that sound like the alien craft looking for sperm whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I get stuck on that, and then I start laughing because I love that movie. “Double dumbass on you!” Priceless. Also, some of this sounds like incidental music from Tron, a less funny movie, but another one that takes me right out of the moment. It … derezes my attention. (I had to look up the spelling for that. Did you know there’s a Tron wiki?)

If you think you’d like this, shoot, check it out, because someone out there is going to dig it. I’m just not that guy.


--Ryan Masteller

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