Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12" review by Foxy Digitalis!

Yes here's a review of the "tooth eeth or teeth ooth" record posted at Foxy Digitalis:

Hammer of Hathor "Tooth Eeth or Teeth Ooth"

This is one of the more hyper-minimal recordings I've heard in a while. In fact, it's more reminiscent of minimal musical experiments from the Fluxus movement than anything currently happening in the trends of experimental music. Seeing that this music was intentionally recorded and produced without any digital assistance further alludes to the feeling that these are sounds from some uncertain point in the past.

Hammer of Hathor are a duo made up of Heather Vergotis and Mark Kaylor, two individuals who have played in a wide range of bands in the Pacific Northwest. This is the 4th full length by the group, and the first that I've had a chance to hear. The way the band approaches each of the four tracks on the album seems similar- one or two segments of sound are repeated with little variation, pulling the listener into the pieces to notice any subtle shift of dynamics or movement in the sounds. The first song is made up of a single distorted guitar note rhythmically being hit with a varying degree of intensity. After a few minutes, plodding drums are added to the mix to create a unique, almost doom metal-ish feel. The second track feels like a playful take on gamelan percussion- a little repeated sequence of melodic plinks and plonks. Again, a very intentional pace is set which barely shifts throughout the piece.

The B-side presents a little more movement to things, particularly in the percussion department. The opener here is another guitar and drums jam, this time with the guitar plucking a couple more notes and the drumming focusing more on a march-like snare drum. The closing track is made of flute, horn and clashing percussion- building into a nice hypnotic whirl that is a quite effective closer.

"Tooth Eeth or Teeth Ooth" is a strange album that is bound to test the patience of a lot of listeners. I like that the band has a unique focus that I just don't hear a lot anymore. The intentionality of the music really forces me to pay closer attention to what this group is actually doing. While the record definitely did affect me, I'm still a little unsure how much I truly enjoyed it- and I kind of like that. It almost feels like I need a new set of rules to base my opinion on. 8/10 -- Charles Franklin (20 August, 2009)

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