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I’m not feeling well prepared for the electronic desert psychedelia of Torn Hawk this morning, in that I haven’t brought the necessary cosplay of a character from a Cormac McCarthy novel with me, but that’s ok. On this quixotically packaged double 7”, Luke Wyatt melds elements of old-school electronic production (you know, the kind they called electronica, for a reason of some madness) with a garage rock aesthetic and a bleeding heart.
The tracks are profound dirges, harkening back to the version of Dirty Beaches who scream into the void while looping rockish laments. “Poser” is a downtempo production with low-key beats meeting industrial b-side horror at its death, its groove sleepily segueing into pure evil like it’s not at all a problem. These kinda humorist juxtapositions ride through Wyatt’s music, its dark, noisy elements (not uncommon in your fave techno DNA) coming up against a good ratio of silliness (such as the ghostly choral outro of “With Butterfly Knives”).
Despite being drawn out over four flips of wax, ‘Men With No Memory’ feels like one long piece, perhaps offering Wyatt’s most focused compositional efforts yet -- his electronic ideas are not dissimilar from Maxwell Sterling or Oneohtrix but are made earthy with a fascination for dust bowl guitars, gritty synth affectations and motorway beatwork. Torn Hawk records may be downtempo, but they’re nothing without a little frenzy.
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