Hiss & Hum: Live Broadcast CD-r + Hiss & Hum/Fever Witch: You’re The Worst/You Deserve It split tape (self-released, 2014)

May 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hiss & Hum: Live Broadcast CD-r

Hiss & Hum: Live Broadcast CD-r

What a coincidence that I end up reviewing 2 bands in a row whose names start with the word Hiss. Both seem to like field recordings, and both can maybe be somehow categorized as experimental/post-rock/drone, but Hiss & Hum is far more noisy and lo-fi and homemade. All of his tapes and CD-r’s are hand-assembled and feature his own spraypainting, cursive writing, and crossed-out text. The Live Broadcast CD-r is an album of late-night improvisations featuring field recordings, synth and guitar, and is dedicated to late-night spontaneous road trips to nowhere. It is recommended to be played louder than most people are comfortable with. 3 of the 5 tracks here are well over 10 minutes. “The Shield Around The K-Hole” builds up a cloud of guitar drone and then attacks it with a downpour of drum machine hi-hats. “Brain-Dead Chile (Slight Return)” has a ratty drum machine beat cha-cha-ing along, along with truly convoluted keyboard and guitar distortion. “Burqa” starts off deceptively pretty and chiming, then has another trudging beat and meandering guitar, then goes a bit wild, before smoothing out, going into some strange beeping, then taking some sort of strange late-night visit to a convenience store or something.

Hiss & Hum/Fever Witch: You're The Worst/You Deserve It split tape

Hiss & Hum/Fever Witch: You’re The Worst/You Deserve It split tape

The other recent release he sent me is a split tour tape (limited to 28 copies) with Fever Witch. The two Hiss & Hum tracks here are entitled “You’re The Worst” and “The Plague”, and start out with meandering guitar which gets louder and noisier and driftier, and the two pieces bleed together, tied by a clinking drum machine which gets louder and more crushing, until the side ends. The real treat, however, is the Fever Witch side, which is fortunately up on Bandcamp for all to hear. Completely dark and ethereal funeral music, with spooky whispered voices, the doomiest chimes you’ll ever hear, and arresting banshee-with-piano wailing. At one point there’s even some Gregorian chanting and some weird lightsaber-like noises?!? I don’t know what all this is, but it’s captivating. I hope there’s more coming. There’s also this tape, which is still available in physical form.

There’s also a Hiss & Hum VHS out called Im//Perfect Color. I don’t have a TV or VHS player, but at least I can post this excerpt because it’s on Youtube:

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