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hymen   2002
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album rating: 2

submitted by anton on 4-Dec-2002

this full-length debut on hymen (with previous noticeable appearances on planet mu's cosmic forces of mu and hymen's own masonic compilations) by c. peirce strives for the conceptual integrity, backing the music (created only with the aid of sampler and computer) with heavy dose of theory. this is what threw me off at first - the wealth of references that very deliberately tried and failed to find the way into the music (the last drop was track titles that appeared to be nothing but a very contrived name-dropping). the music was appropriately dark and crunchy, obviously technoid, but lacking dramatic expanse of <tekniq> or mind-boggling trickery of early beefcake.

a little bit later, after some deliberation, I came back to this album, and finally found a niche for it, arriving to the point where at least I could explain it to myself and enjoy it (a necessary and rewarding endeavor). it is a conscious effort to build a very cold, very strict technoid soundscape where melody and sentiments are perfectly measured, where heavy industrial drum&bass rhythms are kept intentionally firm and metallic, their variation under constant control. once you voluntary subject yourself to the rigidity of this sonic construction, once you absorb and accept the basic collection of simple building blocks, once you learn to notice the details of sonic architecture and appreciate complex rearrangements within those boundaries, you will be able to enjoy this album fully. this might be quite an involved process for the casual listener - one has to follow the whole chain of transformation - from deconstruction to the very basics and back to the elaborate result of those efforts. one will notice that at any step of this process the music also holds a very primitive yet effective appeal - sci-fi mystery, a touch of aggression and ever-present melody.

end it is a good addition to the label's roster, a very focused exploration of the genre, further refining the concepts of this style and aesthetic. at times displaying almost scholarly attitude, it is nevertheless something I have been really enjoying for quite a while now.

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