dw061 - Geronymakis - Hupnos

Disquiet - Marc Weidenbaum (c) 2009
The Katamari Damacy of Drones

There’s no need for a Zen koan about grounded and ungrounded wires. We know full well that an ungrounded wire will make a sound — a sound not unlike the earthy drone with which Geronymakis chose to open his recent release, Hupnos, on the Dark Winter label. It’s a heavy, warm drone, very much the sort of sound that suggests a parade of diesel trucks far off in the distance, or a hovering spacecraft just overhead, or a neighbor’s oddly noisy refrigerator all too close by. And like that refrigerator, the initial Hupnos drone brings with it, over time, an added level of detail and intensity. The detail is the internal character, the sounds within the sound, that makes itself clear during the drone’s extended duration.

Note the way it seems to linger a little to the right of the stereo spectrum, the way it seems to cycle counterclockwise, the way its pulse is oblong and throaty. And in time — this single-track release is only minutes under an hour in length — additional elements join in, sonic particulate (ringing tones, nearly subsonic voices, infinitesimal percussives) attached to the drone like objects in an audio version of Katamari Damacy.

IkEcht - Songsoverruins (c) 2009
Geronymakis has been reviewed here before with the debut album "Baked Eggs". This Dutch artist, which turns out to be a young man aged 19, has recently released his third album, being his second one on the net label Dark Winter. I wasn't too convinced by the first album, a minimalist affair of drones that is flirting with musique concrète. I saw the most potential if the act would continue to develop its drones. Well, it seems that has happened with "Hupnos".

"Hupnos" is one 56-minute track and remains a minimalist affair; a low buzzing bass tone forms the basis, on which (rhythmic) sounds and fragments of conversation are layered. From about 35 minutes onwards it becomes really hypnotising when more and clearer drones are added to the basic sound. I feel the track needs quite some time to get going, and the rhythmic bleeping sounds from the 9 to 22 minute mark don't really cut it for me, but the last 20 minutes are spooky and nicely hypnotising. Yep, I see an upward trend in this act's development and am curious as to what is yet to come.

Originally written for the Dutch weblog IkEcht, English translation by the author.

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