Hinterlandt – Migration Motion Movement (Birdsrobe/Tenzenmen)


Sydney native Hinterlandt must have a very active brain. One second he’ playing a steady trumpet line, before suddenly turning 180 degrees and careering off to the pace of rapidly shifting drumlines, then suddenly halting completely and dropping some serious dub rhythms. And that’s just in one minute. However, beneath this limitless shifting it’s evident that nothing is done without reason, as each section blends to the next with a deft precision. This is the work of a highly skilled, inquisitive, and highly erratic mind.

Opener “Migration’ opens steadily with a reflective trumpet motif, before sneaking a snippet of math-rock noodling from almost nowhere. As a single guitar and basic beat take the lead, synths filter in an out as distorted guitar swell ebb and flow. The math leanings return in a big way. With such a disparate collection of instrumentation and note movement, I can’ help but draw comparisons to early Mars Volta material: single tone guitar raging away as brass and synths shuffle and sing together atop an endlessly reconfiguring beat. As the track slows and builds again like a tide, it gently morphs into what could be considered dub territory, with a massive sine bass holding down a easy trumpet swing. Things get more dubby as they reduce, panned echoes pop around the stereo field as the beat disintegrates. Flutes and mallets hum out a quiet moment of reflection, before field recordings of lorikeets an coconut windchimes transport us to a suburban Sydney backyard. Swaggering dub lifts the mood, before industrial guitar and drums blast through the pot smoke, grinding along before the birds return. Phew, that’s track one done. “Motion’, as the title implies, moves with purpose. A lone trumpet leads the melody for the first third, changing time signatures as the head weaves its way. Delayed guitar takes its place as things get funky. Breaking the piece down to its core, the timing bends into almost a 15/8, if such a thing exists. Plucky organs and ticking blips complete this math workout. Funk guitar blasts open “Movement’, which sounds for all intents and purposes like the theme to a 70s cop flick. Western trumpet tones break the momentum momentarily, before the unstoppable bassline that is the backbone of this piece slides back in. Europop startles the funk out of existence, as distorted drums hammer it out off a skittery organ. As the track gets its math jacket back on, blasting its way to the end, woozy synths surface for a last gasp of air, before blastbeats pound them down and close out the release.

There’ a lot going on here, and it can be difficult to keep up. But between the endless genre-hopping, there’ an amazingly heady and accomplished mix of well-executed instrumentation, with a keen ear for interesting melodies and spacial refrain. If you can keep pace with this, it makes a highly rewarding listen.

Nick Giles


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