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Torn Hawk is the project of Luke Wyatt, who is responsible for every single sound on this record. Union and Return sounds quite a lot like video game music to these ears: possible to accompany an adventure set in the digitally rendered sky-city of the cover art? Either way, it’s an atmospheric listen. Released by Mexican Summer.

Vinyl LP £16.99 MEX2151

LP on Mexican Summer.

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Union and Return by Torn Hawk
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Laurie 11 May 2016

Ah, Torn Hawk, you and I have had some tumbles in the past. The Cowboys 12”, mmm, the good times, and the ok times that were his last record which I think I said I liked more than I did, but I can’t even remember what it sounds like. You can never judge something from just 1 listen. The curse of the Review Station.

But he’s back now to bring some more times - but are the times good, bad, or just the ticking of the clock for 44 minutes? It’s bad form to just keep asking questions in the review, you want answers - this review isn’t Lost. It’s clear from the tracks so far that Luke Wyatt is a chill guy, the tracks here edging away from harshness to beam you some piano-led sunbeam beats and collages. Union and Return is filled with classic DX7-ish keys and strings, forming a sort of grandiose pop chamber group. Just listen to ‘Thornville’ and the sun-bleached pastoral tones within. The record’s a bit like a beach scene in an 80s straight-to-dvd drama, with sounds that err on the side of the cheap cheese, but as Oneohtrix has already proven on Garden of Delete, video game sounds can be cool. They can work. It’s the year 200 again.

Of course, being a good musician, he throws in some curveballs throughout that deviate from said tone. ‘With My Back to the Tower’ does actually sound like it’s from a computer game, the bit where a major servant of the digital dark lord has cornered you against a wall of its tower. Danger! Keep bashing R2! Collect its soul! Yeah, it gets nicer as the track progresses. Victory. Finally, ‘Friends & Family’ sounds like Mike Oldfield writing a theme tune with wailing guitars like clouds at sunset. Lol.

Not everyone will enjoy Wyatt’s brand of electronic chill-ism, but it’s so positive you won’t get a chance to decide. Or it's something to have a laugh with.



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