A Fossil Begins To Bray by Hiro Kone

Most music is defined by what is there, Hiro Kone's has long been defined by what is not. Her electronic sound art is made all the more potent for her ability and willingness to create space, which here serves not only the musical but the political. 'A Fossil Beings To Bray' stands in opposition to excess and in her words, "techno-fascism".

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A Fossil Begins To Bray by Hiro Kone
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Ant 06 November 2019

As Hiro Kone, Nicky Mao has developed a unique voice in electronic music through her bewitching live performances and what is now a stellar discography. Her ‘Love Is The Capital’ LP from 2017 on Geographic North still gets regular spins around these parts and follow-up ‘Pure Expenditure’ was one of my favourite records of 2018. 

Something that’s always stuck with me is an interview with Keith Levene from Public Image Limited where he states that he doesn’t know what he likes - he only knows what he doesn’t like. ‘A Fossil Beings To Bray’ works with a similar mantra, as the artist puts it "This album considers the power of absence as neither a lack or deficit, but as a quiet, indeterminable force to cultivate..." it’s a way of thinking that carries over into the aesthetics of Mao’s production - the spaces between and around her sounds help define them. Her sound strikes a perfect balance between the more minimal, skeletal elements and the denser textures. There’s space to move around inside this music as the serpentine rhythms unravel they seem to unlock doors into tantalizing new spaces. Perhaps too cinematic and not loop-based enough to be considered techno by purists and little too banging to be considered ambient - her sound refuses to be pigeonholed. 

Unlike more traditional strains of techno/ambient, ‘A Fossil Beings To Bray’ doesn’t seem too concerned with body moving functionality or creating a virtual environment for the listener (although it does), rather it’s something more profound and existential - perhaps a reflection of her as a human and a doorway into her hopes, fears and dreams. Highly recommended.



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