A microphone by a roadside.
If Hiss Tracts betray an affinity to musique concrète, then it’s found more in their sensitivity of listening than their occasional use of field recordings.
‘Shortwave Nights’’s droning forms exist within an eternal present,
one that’s multi-faceted and infinitely detailed: this is music that throws
open the aural dimension. On its cover, a microphone sits by a roadside.
But it’s not just about deep listening: ‘Shortwave Nights’ is hardly documentarian, and never Cageian.
Hiss Tracts’ soundworld is as intentionally constructed as those of their previous work with the likes of Set Fire Hiss Tracts Shortwave Nights
To Flames and Godspeed You! Black Emperor – the former’s atmosphere of prettified dejection and conflicted nostalgia for the rural being an especially close reference point.
On its cover, there’s no microphone, no road, only their aestheticized image – indistinct, suggestive.
And all this makes ‘Shortwave Nights’ a rare, beautiful thing: an ambient album Hiss Tracts Shortwave Nights.
that’s neither anonymous in its abstraction nor stifled by its glimmers of compositional intervention.
And while the planning, organisation and responsibility are becoming increasingly paramount,
at the heart of everything, they’ve never lost the enthusiasm, drive or
devotion for what they do, and, in spite of everything are as self-effacing as ever, if a little more stressed for it.
“We have no control,” he smiles.
“Five years ago we gave up. I don’t know how the world works but it’s nice to know people pay to come see you at a venue,
it’s nice to headline a festival but we know how quickly that can go
We’re not taking it for granted but what’s kept us at this level for so long?
There are some people around you who become so successful that it becomes less about the music and all about the secondary stuff.
All I know is how to make music and that we still annoy and inspire each other in the same way we always have.
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