Boomkat Product Review:
10 year reissue of Huerco S.’ hypnagogic ambient game-changer for 0PN’s Software Recording Co. - a masterstroke of mulched and zonked electronics essential for fans of Wanda Group, radical Chain Reaction, Newworldaquarium, Actress
First issued in 2013 after Daniel Lopatin contacted Huerco S. on Soundcloud, ‘Colonial Patterns’ emerged as his first album after acclaimed starts made with a 12” of bangers for Ukraine’s Wicked Bass, and a far more tender side of smudged ambient for Opal Tapes (later issued on vinyl via our Editions series). That 2012 EP would most acutely herald his style to come on ‘Colonial Patterns’, whose deconstruction of deep house and dub techno along degraded ambient vectors dovetailed with work by the likes of Wanda Group, NWAQ or Actress, and came to characterise a whole movement of texturised, grubby neo-ambient experimentalism that heavily feeds forward into today.
While the oft misunderstood term “deconstructed dance” is now a byword for “I don’t get it” by a whole wave of noobs and protectionist dance music bores alike (thought there is admittedly some shite in there), with the benefit of hindsight it was clearly that decade’s answer to ‘80s industrial and post-punk’s rip it up and start again ethos, and ‘Colonial Patterns’ is among its key touchstones. Like a mollusc processing the decayed essence of club music and ‘00s experiments on the seabed, Huerco S. in the plains of Kansas digested and rearranged those sounds in deeply peculiar and attractive ways.
The pulsating structures of dance music are found desiccated and gauzily granulated to a feint but insistent echo of their original purpose. The pump is slumped to armchair-ready levels, enervated of an obvious ecstasy yet still glowing with residual greyscale iridescence that works a treat in supine positions. It’s not hard to hear how this brand of magic snagged the ears of 0PN, who was at that time himself immured in more oblique forms of synthy experiment, prior to sharpening up his sound across that decade, and likewise not hard to hear how the sound mirrored a sense of the future unravelling in line with socio-economic fuckries and the state of mild but ubiquitous confusion and distraction associated with minds zombified by data and sensorial overload. More simply it’s just a pleasure to inhabit, carried away by its murky eddies and silty swirl.