29 August

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Albert Hunz — broken from the inside out (2010, World 8)

Buy/Listen


Hailing from the island nation of Jamaica, Albert Hunz (who hasn’t released new material on bandcamp since 2015) possess a style that seemingly draws largely from breakbeat, industrial, and even hip hop. Broken from the inside out oscillates between a sparse, menacing ambience and a vein of thoroughly disjointed breakbeat, where off-kilter rhythms precariously swing and threaten to seize at any moment. At times kick and snare are harmonious and recall the drum samples of 1990s hip hop and rap music(s); other moments, the chest pounding kick drum feels lost, haphazard, and even antagonistic. While lacking in the full-on intensity possessed by the “drill ’n’ bass” side of DHR, the listener is treated to stuttering breaks, square in the chest kick drumming, and minimalist glitch —with an unmistakable patina of industrial trepidation— all in about seven minutes time. One might argue the brevity of this release is a weakness and demonstrates the failure to fully develop themes and constricts the tracks from full realization; however, Hunz’s ability to navigate the artistic tightrope between RZA and Alec Empire* and (re)contextualize many of their stylistic motifs into a set of post-electronic études, makes for an interesting listen, no matter the length.

 

* Given RZA’s influence on Empire, there is a salient and interesting intertextuality between the aforementioned and Hunz, that due to space restraints, can’t be explored at greater length here, but is certainly worth theorizing in both localized and broader contexts.

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