Hive Mind — Moment Descended in Blue Ash (2016, Chondritic Sound)
Los Angeles cassette label Chondritic Sound has established itself as a pillar of esoteric electronic experimentation and dark ambient music. This C20 released in 2016 by label founder Greh Holger (aka Hive Mind) remains another strange and interesting release. “Moments Descended” fades in with its post-industrial cadence, treble and mids rolled back to zero. After the listener leaves behind the anxious thuds of the introductory passage, the piece evolves into Hive Mind’s murky variant of ambient electronics. The listener is situated somewhere between a digital jungle and listening to an overdriven loop of a distant helicopter. “Blue Ash” is thematically similar: a dense and brooding jam, that stimulates the darkest reaches of the psyche, leaving the listener profoundly unsettled. Reductive as it may sound, Hive Mind taps into a similar artistic ethos or aesthetic as German pioneers Cluster. Yet where Cluster’s experimentalism possessed a contextual (postwar) optimism, Hive Mind instead sounds fully up-to-speed with a world that has grown increasingly self-centered and saccharine. Indeed, Holger’s project produces (perhaps unwittingly) experimental electronics that are as grim as the age of their origination.