Saturday, 16 April 2016
One Unique Hoopsnake
It's Record Store Day, so I assume most of you are out and about taking in some excellent free music and picking up some bargains and rarities (and avoiding the represses and reissues that the bigwigs put out for no other reason but for financial cynicism, clogging up the narrow vinyl pressing waterways for smaller labels for the rest of the year). I managed to find a relatively cheap copy of Swervedriver's Raise at West Norwood's Book & Record Bar and a couple of other nice little things, and am heading to Greenwich to watch Tess Parks play. But my biggest purchase has been a new one that isn't RSD-exclusive, and which is already one of my favourite albums of the year - One Unique Signal's Hoopsnake. An oscillating demon of a double LP, Hoopsnake sees the droning maestros joined by 20 renowned psych musicians, including Demian Castellanos (The Oscillation) and Steven Lawrie (The Telescopes), who all created a piece of music inspired by a single riff, and are woven together into four immersive songs that swirl, coalesce and lurk, a menacing mantra coated in fuzz and distortion, an apocryphal sarcophagus of noise. It takes the metronome maximalist approach, holding down a singular idea, funnelling the focus down to blue-flame intensity, and allowing the fissures to explode/implode. My favourite track has been '03', starting and ending with bird chatter, but in between corralling an incrementally approaching squall, an electrical storm of pregnant intent that envelops and weighs down yet is nothing short of mesmeric, before suddenly dissipating; '04' an understated synth chamber extension, somewhere between John Carpenter and Mogwai's Les Revenants works. Utterly breathtaking.
You can get Hoopsnake in sexy white vinyl here - One Unique Signal are playing their new label Fuzz Club's May edition of the Under The Arches on the 7th, with The Entrance Band and The Oscillation - get tickets here.