Likely guitar-drone lads Aidan Baker of Nadja and Eric Quach of thisquietarmy team up with not one, or even two, but three whole drummers to form the Hypnodrone Ensemble: any guesses how the group might sound? The Shape Of Space is their first record, and it does an admirably good job of taking us all that place. On Little Crackd Rabbit.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 10 June 2015
Strict psychedelic jams and a rhythm section squeezed from concentrate are hardly things we’ve come to expect from a release that has Aidan Baker’s name attached to it, but if you’re looking for a way out of his darkened drone tunnel, then Hypnodrone Esemble might just do the job. This release sees the Nadja soundscaper join forces with thisquietarmy’s very own Eric Quach, the duo employing not one, but three drummers, each of whom helps create a hypnotic wall of sound that’s both furiously loud and strictly maintained. Three drummers isn’t quite enough to make a drum circle, but it’s something of a drum triangle, and it totally changes the way these artists’ ambient leanings come across.
Opener “Elliptical / Hyperbolic” steps forward from a lethargically paced intro of extraneous drum marching, its tempo changing like a flicked switch to enter a groove of pure psych traditionalism. While this record comes described as a duo “studying” the genre, it sounds more like they’re rehearsing it, playing fairly standard stuff that honours the purveyors of motorik rhythm. What cuts up this huge but ultimately forceless composition is a number of drum fills and percussive juxtapositions -- the drummers find joy in little crevices of performance, as well as different timbres. The track’s second half finds the band toning down and setting up camp around around slower, stoner jamming.
“Euclidian” opens on a creeping bassline, which is followed like a public footpath by our droners and their drummers, their sounds making up a treeline and a sky around a steady walkway. It has the kind of build that you know will never actually climax, and instead it reroutes into “Dodecathedral”, a nifty. post-punk influenced psych jam that feels utterly weightless. ‘The Shape of Space’ doesn’t do much, in all honesty, but it does it well.
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- The Shape Of Space by Hypnodrone Ensemble
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