Review: HAU – ii. ep

a3063881694_10My head is in a state of sleepless disarray. At the time of writing, I’ve just roused myself from six hours of restless daytime sleep, about to start my second nightshift in a consecutive set of three. If there’s a plus to this scenario, it’s that I’ve inadvertently fallen into mental alignment with the sound world of HAU’s second EP. I’m able to empathise with how the drums and voices loop within infinite repeats and contradictory ideas collide in eruptions of electronic mess, just how my brain rattles with anxious concerns without the energy to shepherd them out of consciousness. Noises explode and then vanish into flashes of regret, flickering through transformations like someone channel-hopping through the more demented recesses of satellite TV. These are the twitches of a band that find themselves ravaged by the protrusive teeth of the outside world, ripped apart by the onslaught of sensory excess.

So wait – where am I now? How did I get here? I hurtle into the second half of “Under The Immovable Charm”, which sends a bloated synthesiser loop spiralling over a muscular smack of percussion (not a far cry from recent Death Grips material, in fact). “Slice Class” sounds like a breakbeat track crammed into a ventilation shaft, with the rhythm muffled by the rush of metallic air. If it’s not the sheer speed with which HAU jerk between ideas, it’s the way in which they cram numerous incongruent sentiments into the same small space; voices wrap themselves round more voices, drums drown beneath slurries of noise, mistakes burst through the membrane of happening. It’s only 14-minutes long, although I feel the residue of its skittering energy for hours after listening, stubbornly trapped within the folds of my mind like fingernail dirt.