Curiously vibed spoken word / ambient-scape record here from the new duo of Laurence Strelka and Denma Peisinger, recording as Hey Mother Death. Highway moves along with organ, drum machine and unusual guitar treatments, English and French language intonations hovering within the mix. EP on the Paper Bag label.
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- Highway by Hey Mother Death
7/10 Robin Staff review, 06 July 2015
Somewhere deep beneath the cloth of treated guitars, muttered entwining languages and half-completed rhythms of ‘Highway’ there are songs -- but, like, who cares? For Hey Mother Death, it’s all about sounds simmering, and this EP does plenty of that. The grooving bass and occasionally deciphered singing feel like something happening off in the fifth dimension -- at the same time, but separate from the ambient sabotaging that this band love to scrape together.
Hey Mother Death’s grooves are configured and then disconfigured throughout ‘Highway’, recalling the murky but extremely slick vibes of Dirty Beaches’ debut ‘Badlands’; where the lo-fi production was what made that record’s pop music sound fascinating, it’s the long stretches of disorientation and instrumental abstraction that make the spoken word treatises of ‘Highway’ feel suddenly immersive. Hey Mother Death’s spacial awareness is non-existent, and it works in their favour.
This albums slight psychedelia feels more about chance encounters than mesmerisation, the songs meandering rather than walking a straight line. Reverberation acts to separate segments of “Snake Power”, keeping the rhythm but switching between vocalists, while the striking chords of the record’s opener harken back to the Flaming Lips’ ‘Embryonic’ -- a type of abstract pop music that never tries to repeat itself, but allows certain motifs to be almost endless.
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