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Hi:Emotions: NOTU_URONLINEU (Hyperdub)

an odd one this is… I’ve heard
DVA tracks here and there for the last few years, but this first full
length under the variation DVA [Hi:Emotions] marks somewhat of a
departure, as far as I can tell. I’d make the analogy that the outer
limits experiments of NOTU_URONLINEU are to UK bass music what
Actress has been to techno, often sketchy, skeletal, and downright
weird musical ideas that may start from a vague place of genre but
invariably end up far off the map into uncharted territory, or at
least extra-terrestrial. The vague concept of the album seems to be
built around internet jargon and slang, connectivity, artifice, and
corporate telecommunications. In his own words, “The
album project comes from a short visual story set in a time where a
mega corporation H:E / Hi:Emotions is slowly taking control of
everything, and plan to eventually make all people live life under
one brand in virtual reality.” Okay, so what does that sound like?
Pretty weird, and, if nothing else, at least interesting to my ears.
More often than note, synths squeal and squirm with stops and starts,
occasionally over a leftfield groove, as heard on
oddly cinematic and artificial bravado in the proud brass arrangement
that swells over its deep sub bass stabs. It achieves critical goofy
mass when it literally becomes the resolved THX chord before
returning to its jerky rhythm focus.

NOTU_URONLINEU (HDBLP034) by DVA [Hi:Emotions]

At times the library music
flirtations and more hyperactive tendencies of a contemporary project
like Oneohtrix Point Never come to mind, but there are faint hints of
old school electronic composers like David Tudor or Karlheiz
Stockhausen in its fascination with the sheer capabilities of
electronically created sound. The jazzy funk that bubbles to the
surface in the title track integrates all of this and then some,
feeling like a kindred spirit to the glitchy funk of Atom Heart or
Bernd Friedmann. It’s interesting to hear producers who grew up in
the midst of the vibrant and always evolving bass music scene finding
their own voice as it wanders further and further from convention or
any sort of template. While its intermittent sketches and less
developed ideas sometimes make NOTU_URONLINEU feel disjointed, it
sounds like a joyous headlong dive into rhythm and sound, complete
with a Orwellian storyline to lend a vaguely sinister quality to what
might be otherwise considered inspired experiments.

Buy it: Bandcamp