The Hunter Gracchus - Sacred Object Of The Yiye People (CR 01)

Image of The Hunter Gracchus - Sacred Object Of The Yiye People (CR 01)


Landing out of nowhere and traversing historical sonic planes with freeform light-speed, The Hunter Gracchus arrived at my desk. Continuing the recent leaking tap, (so obscure and secretive no one seems to have really cottoned on yet), of European free-music, folk and psych that has been seeping into the underground, Hunter Gracchus sound both fresh and devastatingly contorted. Listening to the fragile and intoxicating sounds generated by The Hunter Gracchus, your surroundings are skewed into displacement. When describing the output and production of sound experienced on the record, HG used the foundation of non-studio based recordings, stating "where the microphone's presence seems inconsequential to the performance you hear and its placement is determined more by remaining inconspicuous than maximising fidelity." This is a keen observation and sits well with the overall experience that the collective creates. Spatial awareness is delivered through raga styled drones, but also, more inventively, through anarchic freeform playing. HG also site the Bedouin music by Deben Bhattacharya and the Vibracathedral Orchestra as having influenced their sound; this alludes to what you will hear, but be prepared for a unique sound-world, all of its own (and straight out of Sheffield!)

An abundance of acoustic instruments are blown, strummed and plucked alongside inventive percussion that clangs both traditional and (seemingly) found objects. The improvised nature has a difficult narrative that paddles murky water through perilous terrain. This is imagined through the music, but also signified through lengthy and descriptive song titles, e.g. "Elkadia Priests' Ransacking of the Pnac Offices". A mythology is an adequate accompaniment to a challenging and overwrought listen. There are moments where the peaceful rolling of hypnotic free folk is suddenly disrupted by chaotic, (close to a nervous breakdown), improvised attack. The de-tuned gypsy-shanty of the final track on Side A, twists and turns like a serpent of rust and soiled canvas. The tort strings scrape and roll in unwavering tones that arch beyond the inevitable outcome one might assume, (then again this is the point of freeform music).

Side B has pastoral marches with Balkan overtones that allude to foreign tradesmen and portside harlots. This has a similar disjointed glow that fans of Lauhkeat Lampaat will immediately warm to. This has a similar, yet rawer, feel to the recent Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides record. The record displays a combination of deep folk understanding, along with a distinctly western European ability to juxtapose misery and hope. The closing track hits a fantastic high with a mix of subtlety, drone, vocal wavering and distortion. The sounds implode in glorious sonic hollers that over lap and consume themselves in the form of an Ouroboros. 8/10 -- Foxy Digitalis (22 October, 2008)

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