Boomkat Product Review:
Properly overdue reissue of Hydroplane's long out of print 1997 debut album, a beguiling concoction of lo-fi pop, shoegaze, early electronic blips and billowing ambience. So good!
Back in 1997, Aussie jangle pop outfit The Cat's Miaow formed Hydroplane after their drummer headed to London. They filled the gap by using samples and tape loops, and developed a startling new sound that gave a new resonance to Kerrie Bolton's cool, deadpan vocals and the band's hybrid experimentation. The self-titled album works because it refuses to stay in the same spot for too long, lurching from bit-crushed breaks and dry guitar plucks on opening track 'Wurlitzer Jukebox' to mucky noise and regurgitated piano guts on 'Piano Movement with Percussion', before settling into a dream pop groove on the beatless 'Song for the Meek'.
The album's best moments though are when they ignore songs altogether, like on the sci-fi tinted analog synth jam 'I Hear a New World', or 'House Warming', a ghostly spoken word track accompanied by a wavering electronic drone. The band recorded this material in their Brunswick flat using a bare-bones setup including a Jupiter 4 synth, sampler and tape equipment, and the album was released at the time only in the US on CD. Now it's available again, it feels like high time to rediscover a band that nestle comfortably between Slowdive, Stereolab and Hood.