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- Timeless / Mindless by Hobo Cubes
9/10 Mike Staff review, 15 June 2011
What a name. It make them sound like some late '80s proto-grunge noise band doesn't it? Hobo Cubes. Well it's actually the solo project of Montreal-based Frank Ouellette, and he's making more of this kosmische synth drone that's all the rage right now. This is more droney and less John Carpentery than the recent offerings from Mist and Zombi but there's shades of those records here for sure. It's a pretty therapeutic album, pretty minimal but also very melodic. I love the photo collages on the cover, too. The pace is pretty gentle but I get a sense that it's always going somewhere. It gives me the feeling of walking along a beach at night, perhaps, isolation and depth and focus. In 'The Seeking' he's picking out all these Eastern-sounding melodies which shift between concord and discord over swells of drone to really satisfying effect. In fact, despite drone being a constant element here, this album is almost dizzyingly busy compared to a lot of drone music. Even though it's slightly awkward and dissonant in places, I'm finding those parts more spooky than grating. Oh, and you know what else? All the press release says about it is that it's "a synth soundtrack to a forgotten X-Files episode, where Mulder and Scully laze around the Area-51 am/pm and talk backwards about dolphins". I do like a bit of mystery.
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