Hounds of Hulme – T_CHN_L_GY
Reviewing something by a blogger you like is tricky. It’s like shagging your best friend. No matter how sensitive you are, nothing’s ever going to be the same again. You can try and pretend it didn’t matter and that you’re still friends. But in the cold light of the morning, things are changed forever. You can never go back. Free download.
All of which begs the question as to why I said I’d review the new album by Hounds of Hulme (aka Fat Roland). And does rather explain why it’s taken me couple of weeks to live with it before committing to post. I mean. He’s an award-winning blogger, author and now recording artist. And I’m not. Anyway, deep breath, here we go.
Let’s get some things out of the way first. That cover. Lazy Kraftwerk reference. Not good. And that title. Removing the vowels. Please! That’s so 2010. Hounds of Hulme is Fat Roland and three others. Who knows for sure? They’ve been producing music since 2011 and this is the debut album. The Hulme bit of the name supposedly comes from the location of the Megadog club in Manchester. The Hounds bit comes from his abiding crush on Kate Bush and her Hounds of Love or his hounding of her resulting in that restraining order. Perhaps.
You want to know about the music. Why? If you must. This isn’t the Kraftwerk fetishist I feared. This is actually a good techno album, with a bit of low level Aphex Twin washed through. There’s samples galore. It’s meant for people to dance to not chin stroking. Opener, Strung Out, has bleeping and blooping with a disorientating collage of samples. Reverse The Line has a lovely BBC sample with a hip hop bassness to the beats. FM Drop goes for a bit of acid workout. Don’t Ask Me is a sample looking for a track and the first evidence of filler. Decade goes for an early 90s Warp feel to it’s bleeping simplicity. Acid Minors goes for a bit of an acid dance floor freak out. Unsure with its added vocals is a thumping tune and probably the most developed on the album. Hurtlovedandlost has the most developed noizenik tendencies. Avoid. Rise of the Dead Robots is the most Kraftwerk-y tune but put through an acid blender. Voiceinstruktion goes B-Boy techno and is the best tune on the album. Rewind. The album closes with Siren. This is a gentle comedown to the album in something that has heady echoes of people like B12. Lovely.
I guess the acid test (boom, boom) is whether I’d have reviewed this if I didn’t know who it was by. I think I would. This is a good debut album if slightly too knowing about its history and sources. But for anyone who likes electronic music, definitely worth your time and download space.
Don’t Ask Me
Full album here (available as ‘name your price’):