Sam Hooker: On the Water (self-released, 2019)

July 19, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sam Hooker: On the Water

Well known throughout the Detroit noise scene for his solo project Tarpit, Michigan Underground Group member Sam Hooker’s latest album bears his own name. This is a disorienting set of pieces filled with ghastly tape loops, murmuring voices, and a constant feeling of being distracted and swept away, yet you’re still right in the center of everything. After the nearly nightmarish opening track, “Moving in the Way” is a flurry of detuned clatters and clangs with a sinister, tape-smudged monologue buried underneath. “On the Water” is a bit less musique concrete-sounding, with bells floating around scratchy, drawn-out guitar notes and resonations. “Smoke Downstairs” mixes creaking sounds with swerving bass and the vaguest hint of a bubbling melody, and sounds really bizarre, mysterious, and beautiful. “Seven Cars” had lots of wayward echo along with its lumbering thumps and sinister muttering. “Dock” feels like it was recorded on one during a coming storm, with splashing joined by booming noises with accelerate near the end. “Warm Down” is one of the trippiest tracks here, filled with ominous piano notes and some absolutely mutilated noises. A must for anyone who appreciates Aaron Dilloway, and other noise artists who focus more on tape manipulations and voices rather than harshness.

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