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- Love is the Capital by Hiro Kone
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Hiro Kone is an alias of Nicky Mao, who was once upon a time in Effi Briest, whom you may recall had an album out on Sacred Bones among other things. She popped up on Drew McDowall’s fabulous ‘Collapse’ record in 2015, and he returns the favour here, adding some modular synthesizer twiddling on ‘Rukhsana’. Roxy Farman of Wetware makes a vocal appearance too - so looks like this is something of a Brooklyn thing.
Things get moving with the somewhat foreboding opener ‘Being Earnest’ with ascending, looping synth the gets hoovered up and dissolved by a sweeping choral vocal apparition - as though an angel flew by and decimated a force of darkness. ‘Rukhsana’ glistens like pure sunshine with swelling synth like beams of light - elevated by chopped and processed vocal samples. The ticking chrome synth of ‘Infinite Regress’ features an urgent vocal from Roxy Farman -- as though she’s frantically giving the listener orders. It’s a great, slightly creepy futuristic techno pop track that builds in intensity and goes out with pounding drums. ‘The Place Where Spirits Get Eaten’ evokes images of phantoms dancing at a haunted rave. The melancholy electronica of ‘Less Than Two Seconds’ has a similarly ghostly atmosphere and features well deployed samples of essayist, poet, and social writer James Baldwin. ‘Don’t Drink The Water’ is booming techno with lots of futuristic machine sounds echoing around solid kick drums. The title cut begins somewhat optimistically, only to have the light sucked out as it dissolves and descends into darkness. We’re left to wallow in ‘The Declared Enemy’ where static sounds evoke being inside a barely lit vacuum where particles of dust are illuminated by small slivers of light. There’s a real sense of sadness and loss as the album closes out - an overwhelming feeling that things are inevitably not gonna work out the way one had hoped. Welcome to Planet Earth.
Our copies of this record were held up in the mail, so I’ve had an extended amount of time listening to the digital promo of ‘Love is the Capita’ and been really enjoying it. There’s something very stirring and evocative about this record, and the immaculate production really sparkles and shimmers. You should definitely check it out.
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