earinfluxion

earinfluxion

30 March 2016

HKE:
Omnia (Olde English Spelling Bee)

The
most immediate and noteworthy appeal of HKE’s latest full-length
album is its obvious love of sound for sound’s sake. And while it’s
certainly not only that in itself, it really is satisfying to put on
good headphones and hear these tracks for all of their finely honed,
incredibly layered detail. It feels like a timely amalgamation of
headphones listening over the last decade or two, combining the
spacious, reverberated pads of turn of the century IDM with more
frenetic beatmaking that recalls Autechre, Richard Devine, or Ash
Koosha. But in contrast to Ash Koosha’s recent Guud album, this feels
less typically “maximal” and instead veers more into lush, dense
atmosphere.

OMNIA by HKE

Opener “Dream” and subsequent tracks like “Hand in
Throat” threaten to explode with tension, and yet they are gaseous
and hazy in contrast to some of the more overtly gnarly beats of
“Odium” or “Omni.” I suppose what is most refreshing about
HKE’s productions here are that despite being quite full and dense,
the mix feels comfortable and clear. In a time where compression
seems to be squeezing the air out of many electronic albums, I
appreciate the sensitivity to space and sound design. Omnia may seem
a bit overwhelming at first, but with repeat listens its details and,
dare I say, ease present themselves more clearly. I’m reminded of the
majesty of some of Murcof’s more celestial aspirations as much as the
intricate complexity of Autechre’s more recent modes in only the best
ways, and for all of the name-checking and comparisons I’m attempting
to draw here, HKE’s Omnia stands strongly on its own as a complex and
impressive body of work. Highly recommended!

Buy it: Bandcamp

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