Review: Hello Listener – Kabuki: The Art Of Self Murder

By running an independent music review site, there are frequent opportunities to listen to music which is unlikely to get heard by, say, the NME or Q. Some of the time you wonder whether it’s due to presentation. A case in point might be Hello Listener’s new album, enchantingly titled ‘Kabuki: The Art Of Self Murder’. The album cover alone seems designed to disturb thanks to its psychedelic horror art.

As a sign of things to come, he opening strains of ‘False Sample’ will scare off many listeners immediately. The shuffling drum beat backing is awkward and sounds as if the song is stopping and starting like a malfunctioning train. Nevertheless, it’s the first chance we get to hear the appealing voice of Miles Maxwell and he switches from deranged Peter Gabriel to a more than decent falsetto for the disarmingly pretty ‘April’.

‘American Dream’ is more like a warped nightmare thanks to its woozy, disoritentating melody.  This being electronica, there’s odd instrumental sections (‘Carrot And Stick’) and disturbing spoken word segments (‘Dummy Mess’) but nothing which should act as a deterrent. In fact the synth hook underscoring ‘Camp Makeout’ could even be described as romantic.

Far from being the austere record its presentation promised, ‘Kabuki…’ is an eerie yet accessable record for the connoisseur of bedroom studio electronica. Highly recommended for fans of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.

Web Sites:
The Art Of Self Murder Bandcamp Page

Further Listening:
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Finneyerkes

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