Arthur Hnatek — Ritual EP
Arthur Hnatek & Taut
Arthur Hnatek and Taut (aka Jacob Bergson) first met as university students in New York, over a decade ago. Best known for their sideman work, with the likes of Tigran Hamasyan, Erik Truffaz, Kimbra and Jojo Mayer/Nerve, they both experienced parallel slides into the world of electronic music production. Individualists both instrumentally and compositionally, their converging interests made collaboration increasingly inevitable.
When the coronavirus pandemic abruptly cleared their schedules, the opportunity for collaboration was upon them at last. Their captivating new EP, Ritual, is the result. Here Hnatek and Taut cast their aesthetic net wide, deftly moving from the polyrhythmic waltz of Mille Feuille to the tense, anxious rhythms of Grind Rums, from the visceral pounding of Ritual to the swirling, cinematic Slingshot.
Eschewing the knotty, layered rhythms that marks their other releases, Ritual devotes itself to primitivism. Here, the drums are towering and monolithic, punctuated by the incessant clanging of bronze. They are undergirded by the synthesized textures of strummed strings and faraway voices, simultaneously both futuristic and levantine. Ritual reminds us, despite our advanced technology, how close we always are to our ancient forebears.
Energetic, thrilling, and unrelenting, Slingshot bursts out of the gates at a fever pitch. Exhibiting the influence of cinematic music, it draws interest from pure energy and emotion, eschewing obvious statements of melody. Drum rolls barely sneak through a dense cloud of sawing strings, while flute-like synths interject but fail to halt the ever-mounting momentum. It is like an action sequence distilled down to a song.
Possessed of a waltz-like lilt not often found in electronic music, Mille-Feuille revolves around simple melodic figures and nimble drums. It’s many layers of percussion, performed programmed and manipulated, recall the percussive jangles favored by producers like Four Tet and Bonobo. Strings and synths swell and recede until the childlike, pentatonic motif ultimately gives way to a majestic, rising melody.
Two voices of stark counterpoint, high and low, stand in permanent opposition. Joyful drums rush forward, undaunted, stumbling over their own exuberance and pushing out ahead of the pack. A simple, descending melody pulls the runaway rhythms back into compliance again and again. Grind Rums recalls the labyrinthine IDM of Squarepusher and Venetian Snares, while striking a decidedly somber tone.
|Promotion:||Mouthwatering Records, Nadine Schärer|