Hive Mind – ‘Elemental Disgrace’ [Review]

It’s been a few beats since Hive Mind last surfaced.  In fact it’s been rather quiet all around for Greh Holger (Cleanse, Black Sand Desert, Chondritic Sound boss).  In spite of the austerity of Holger’s mission, it is this lapse which underscores the Hive Mind project in its newest instantiation, ‘Elemental Disgrace’.  Released by new Editions Mego imprint Spectrum Spools (based in Austria though operated by fellow Midwesterner John Elliott from Emeralds), and in an edition of 600 proper LPs, the new digs do Holger no favors, where his synthesized sounds of organic ugly easily consume whatever framing is imposed by colored vinyl, glossy sleeves, or logos.  Even the fidelity of this heightened production is lost on these two side-long tracks, which would likely be suited just as well to a cassette or lathe.  That’s not to say that the recording’s rich colors, depth of field, and sharp separation isn’t appreciated; rather, the sound is simply the independent variable, which restructures any additions to its own totalizing force.  These two sidelong tracks (parts “I” and “II”) add up to just over a half hour, begin in medias res, and end with a brief fadeout.  The sound is familiar Hive Mind territory to be sure – deep, motoric churning, chirping loops, maximal vibration – the general effect that perfected impression of being swallowed into the earth.  Yet ‘Elemental Disgrace’ somehow appears a little less hostile than previous recordings.  Where formerly it seemed as though the sounds conspired against the listener, like they were somehow sentient (if very, very primitive), it now appears the sound is indifferent – fatal for sure, but no longer on the hunt but self-destructing.  Though recorded in pieces of less than average Hive Mind length, perhaps this altered impression comes from the diversity of sounds fit into this single survey.  Given the velocity of oscillation, the fly-over effect particularly of side A offers a grander, molecular/macro contrast to the former concentration on monadic figures emerging from the spinning filth.  This is an overly-impressionistic listening to be sure, but perhaps the only way of wrapping one’s head around the complexities of this noise.

Spectrum Spools LP

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