Sunday, May 22, 2011


Various Artists - Second One
Hyster. Hyster09.
C60 Cassette.
100 copies. €2

I must admit to having rather a soft spot for Hyster. A tape only label for whom the word prolific has no meaning. Eleven releases in ten years. All of them on recycled cassettes and all of them damned cheap. Some people may assume Hyster to be a lazy bastard mustering the energy but once a year to spit out whatever it is lurking in the cassette deck whilst others may think ‘oh how quaint’. I fall into the latter category. Even the website is bog standard, a one page homage to basic HTML with no picshas or nuffink. One of their first releases was a live Dieter Müh affair which was damned near one of the bands best outings - I quite like the perversity in finding what could be a bands best work lying in obscurity on a recycled cassette. Besides Dieter Müh and the mighty Culver much of what appears on Hyster is a mystery to me - all of it [or at least all of what I’ve heard] seems to carry with it an air of loss and solitude, an atmosphere aided an abetted of course by the decaying nature of recycled cassettes they appear on. The last Hyster tape I reviewed was the 2009 Re-Clip affair, a slightly messy release it must be said with analogue beats escaping like loose GMT time signals, all of it dubbed onto a particularly dodgy tape - it comes with the territory I suppose.
The prosaically titled ‘Second One’ though is a real winner, a far more upbeat affair for the most part with some fine head bobbing moments and a classic track from the ever groovy Crank Sturgeon. Five tracks on one side and a side long outing on the other. Aiko kick things off with some sample madness and what sounds like photocopier noises layered on to amp buzz and a gently strummed acoustic guitar refrain. Cleavage pump out eight minutes of murky heavy duty arms out straight, jab em into the keys Emeralds like synth throb. Crank Sturgeon provides some garbled Schimpfluch lunacy in which un-synced hand claps and Dada verbals mix with someone trying to talk whilst drinking and having a piss at the same time. Re-Clip meanwhile appear to have morphed into some kind of Mego tinged slow analogue beat machine. Not bad in a swaying, meditative Midwich kind of way. Which on side one leaves Hiss Nausea and almost four minutes worth of distorted to buggery gabba beats.
This comp would have been just about perfect had it not been for the last ten minutes of the Varropas track ‘Moln pa Drift 1978’. A gorgeously fragile side of crumbling drone in which a small and recurring wobbly hit string motif is pulled through a landscape of wheezing machines and outer space burbles. Even the deterioration in tape quality at the onset adds to the all round ambience, as it continues upon its wavering path it grows in volume until the tape runs out.  If it had carried on with its miserable start to the very end I’d have been happier but you can’t have everything can you?


plaa [a]

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