Hug Heroes

[K2; 2007]

Styles: astro-industrial techno that minds its malevolent manners
Others: Ellen Allien, Hugg & Pepp


1. He’s a prolific techno composer at the age of 21. He’s basically the star of a whole Kompakt sub-label (K2). This one time, I covered a Mountain Goats song.
2. He did a very popular remix of much-heralded, black-beaked techno group The Knife. My girlfriend has a bird fetish. “We’re skipping track 10.” “Why?” “We just are.”
3. His full-length Heroes traces jet-trail curlicues on a dark sky, brings cratefuls of the simple throaty basslines, languid whipcracks of glimmering/glowering atmosphere, and malignant synth melodies reminiscent of Ellen Allien’s Thrills. Hey, I reviewed that record!
4. He’s cute.
5. Heroes, although no transcendent masterpiece, coheres really nicely as an album, and that’s a bonus she might not necessarily expect from a techno guy, who’s understandably more worried about what’s getting put on his 12-inches (oh god, 12-inches).
6. She really goes for spunky songs like “Tiny Stars”, which could be intro music for a late ’80s video game or the soundtrack for Herbert shopping for a toothbrush (at a [Lidl->] behind a club in Berlin).
7. His DJ alter-ego is “Hug.” C’mon.
8. Somehow his coarse cloudscapes never sound too dreamy, what with the industrial clutter he solders into the mix: snares that must be have been struck in abandoned hangars, mechanical lurchings and pukings, clipped and keening siren squeals. O, the judicious use of echo! Would you stay if I just said all my sweet nothings twice? Y’know, like an echo? How about if, at the same time, I touch one of my ears like I’m wearing half a pair of headphones?
9. And not just warehouse litter -- Heroes flexes around a sturdy micro-house skeleton: honest handclaps, clever little bloops that almost become congas, adorable hi-hats, all tied by melodic ligaments to a humble 4/4 backbone

10. He has a cousin named Jesper who also makes good techno. The beast with two bäcks! Wealthy curlèd darlings of Sweden! “I will play the swan and die in music!” Love me still! I’m clever and sort of published!

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