‘Spillin’ The Beans – “Trust” by Hanne Hukkelberg

After a week’s sabbatical, Spillin’ The Beans is back and in fine listening fettle. I am looking at a forthcoming album by Norwegian experimental musician Hanne Hukkelberg called “Trust” which is due for release on the 20th October. As this is not yet available, I cannot post any links to the music, apart from one track, IRL which is on YouTube, but The ‘Spill does have a review-only preview.

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The press release says that “the new album explores the duality of human life in the digital age – largely inspired by writers, scientists and philosophers including George Orwell, Zygmunt Bauman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Yuval Noah Harari and Simon Sinek, alongside the more pop-cultured forecasts of sci-fi series Westworld and Black Mirror.”, which is all well and good, but for me the question is always “What does it actually sound like?”. This is Ms Hukkelberg’s first album in five years, so she has clearly had a lot of time to ponder these bigs questions. let’s see how she treats them in musical terms.

On a first listening, the first point of reference is R ‘n’ B-influenced electronica, which I have to admit isn’t my first choice as Go To listening. However, the music is a lot more than that. It has a quirky, insistent quality that takes it away from the mundane. I suppose it (sort of) occupies a similar space as the likes of Lorde, Little Boots, FKA Twigs and others working with dance and electronica. In the past, Hukkelberg has sounded pretty different to this, experimental in different ways. I think that this music is most interesting when it moves away from the more “poppy” sound and goes to less definable places, which is what happens as the album progresses. I think that from the sixth track, Raindrops, onwards, the music becomes very interesting and unpredictable. I especially like the following track, Silverhaired, which introduces a male voice to good effect. Having said that, none of the music is dull or predictable.

On subsequent hearings, I found more things to listen to that were adding interesting and sometimes unsettling textures to the music, like the sound of howling wolves or dogs in IRL. In fact, the more you listen, the less like electronic pop the music becomes. You end up concentrating on the weird, which is not to suggest that the music is dominated by weirdness, because it isn’t. It is more the case that your ears stop holding on to the familiar and start finding what is the essentially eccentric and imaginative core of the songs. There are themes of alienation here, but also, I think of spurned love and a fear and distrust of the way that technology swamps us and divides us from human contact. She sings “I don’t wanna be perfect, I wanna be me” in The Whip, which in many ways is a curse of the digital age, where perfection is served up everywhere and us mortals are made to feel inferior. The monetisation of the internet and the howling mobs of armchair warriors on social media are deeply alienating aspects of modern life and I think that this is a major concern for Hanne. It is certainly what I am taking away from this music.

Musically, I suppose that some people might try and make Björk comparisons, but they would be wide of the mark, because she doesn’t really sound like her at all.

Anyway, if you are intrigued by the album, or are a fan from her previous four releases, it is available for pre-order here. Hanne is also available on Facebook, Soundcloud and Spotify.

‘Spillin’ The Beans – “Hide” (EP) – by Reighnbeau

‘Spillin’ The Beans has been on holiday. I sorted out reviews to schedule while I was away but didn’t manage to get anything prepared for last week when I was actually back at home. Anyway, normal service is now resumed and this week I am looking at the latest EP “Hide by Albuquerque-based artist Brice Hample, who works under the name Reighnbeau.

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‘Spillin’ The Beans – To Chechnya With Love: A Benefit Compilation for Chechen LGBTQ+ (Vol 1)

This week, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is stepping sideways to some degree to listen to an album that is all about a particular cause, LGBTQ Rights in Chechnya.

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‘Spillin’ The Beans – “Divination” by Emerald Suspension.

Emerald Suspension are definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste, but what they do is definitely going to appeal to people who like their music from somewhere Out There.

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Comus – a band I had completely forgotten until I read something that reminded me.

I knew about Comus back in the early 1970s. They tended to get lumped in with people like the Third Ear Band, because of their general weirdness, and also with the Incredible String Band.

Anyway, I knew about them and my cousin liked them a lot, but he was weird. He liked the Holy Modal Rounders as well.

I was reminded of them yesterday because I was looking up Opeth on Wikipedia and that led me on to look at the article about Storm Corrosion, the Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt collaboration from a couple of years ago. That article mentioned Comus as an inspiration for the Storm Corrosion album. I made a mental note to check on YouTube to see if their first album was there and, lo and behold, here it is.

I think that some people here might like it, certainly I think it will strike a chord with Beth and maybe Chris too.

 

Now that’s what I call: Elastic bands.

so ONE each from A all the way to Z then a number/a punctuation/a symbols (that includes you saneshane)

The final selection.
You must narrow your choice down to just one.
I’m looking at you picking the best one from your weekly lists (or in odd cases; the one you stupidly forgot to include).

If you put ‘Spill Challenges into the search box – most of the elastic bands weeks come up.

Have fun.