The people down at Cyclic Defrost did a review of my album and it’s real nice. Thank you very much.
Australian born Hunz, releasing his debut solo album on Canadian label Apegenine, might be known to some of you, in the early nineties as a member of Five Musicians, and later with rock/rap group Beanbag. He has since returned to what he loves, producing and singing his own music.
The press release puts this album somewhere between Radiohead, Telefon Tel Aviv and Kate Bush, but this is quite a generalization that may deter some listeners from giving it a go… Vocally, Hunz could be compared to Thom Yorke from Radiohead, and the fragility yet uplifting tones of his voice could also be compared with Coldplay, where Kate Bush comes in I’m not sure… Not instantly appealing to me, his voice does slowly win you over, having quite a calming effect, slowly drawing you in, not dominating the music, a subtle approach that works well.
Hunz has a distinctive production sound, using disparate sounds that complement, a thread of warm keys underpins the whole album, with intricate glitch melodies, abrasive sounds and inventive beats. The warm keyboards remind me of some of Prefuse73’s other projects, managing to offset the abrasiveness with a feeling of being wrapped in cotton wool. No matter how dark the music may become, a lightness remains, and even the feeling of sorrow in some of the songs leaves room for an optimism, which makes this quite an emotive album from start to finish.
Worth a listen if you like you’re pop inventive and emotive. To find out more info on Hunz, his music, video production and surrealist art, go to www.hunz.com.au.
So if you’ve got your shiney new iphones and you can’t afford games just yet. Venger the game I did music for has just been release in a lite version which just means a demo of one level. Try it out and let me know what you think ..
I have a show on the 8th of next month at the valley studios too, I’ll be putting up some banners and posters soon. Dizzy Gothica and a TBA band are joining us. It’s going to be a great night! See you there.
Sometimes big things start quite small and after a few years when something has developed into something big it is nice to look back and think about the small blossom that it came from. It is also nice to say that you have known that big thing when it was still small. The best feeling of all, though, is to look at something small and have the impression that something big is already inside there, waiting to get out. Just don’t make the mistake of judging what is now by what might be coming in the future, because of three reasons: you might misjudge and nothing ever comes off it and then you would be disappointed. Secondly, you might misjudge and this little thing does not want to be big and then you would be disappointed. And finally, your judgement, especially when spoken out loud, might influence the development of this little thing into something it might never would have been or wanted to become. So shame on you if you do. This little thing could be anything, a book, a movie, any artform, but it is usually most openly with music albums.
How do I get to all this theoretical ramblings whose usability is probably below a knife without a grip where the blade has broken off? Because listening to “when victims fight” I suddenly had this idea in my head that if Depeche Mode would have started today instead of sevenhundred years ago, their music probably would have sounded something like that of Hunz. The modernist usage of electronic beats, synths and ingredients in connection with a perfect feeling for pop melodies and harmonies that stick in your mind is definitely comparable to that of early Depeche Mode. The overall sound of course isn’t. Hunz is onehundred percent rooted in the present plus a little in the future. There are noisy breakbeats in the back, influences by Notwist and Radiohead (do I have you nerds drooling yet?) and the setting and production is very good as well. Like the young Depeche Mode these songs are also not aimed at the stadium like later works but meant to work in small clubs and homes. The epic size may or may not come, I don’t want to predict the future for several reasons (see above.) The singing voice of Hunz aka Hans Van Vilet is somewhere between the very young Sting in nasal, high tone quality and some singer of an alternative rock band I regularly see on music television but can’t remember the name of. On “almost there” it sometimes gets a little like Justin Timberland’s falsetto.
Hunz probably never wants to strike it big. That is my guess, because he does a lot to work against becoming overly popular. Let’s not talk about the weird cover illustration, which looks to me like the rendition of a weird dream Hunz had about himself. But also doing all music by himself makes for a musical recluse who has a hard time getting his music “out there”. And taking two or more years to complete an album in solitude is not the most prolific strategy. But it has turned out great and “when victims fight” has found its place close to my cd player and in my mp3-library (not connected to the internet!) for some time now. The melodic and pop-qualities of Hunz on the other hand should enable him to the same kind of fortune that e.g. Badly Drawn Boy or Travis have experienced some years hence. The melancholy mixed with upbeat harmonies is another shared characteristic. Though what has made these two stand out is one or two popsongs so great they have become timeless classics within half a decade. This is one thing that I haven’t yet found on “when victims fight”, but probably I should take another listen, because some songs are definitely working their way up.
Mystery solved. I’ve been working on the sound track for an iphone game called ‘venger’ which just hit the app store last night. It’s getting positive reviews and is a 3d version of old classic shoot’em’up games.
The hardest thing in doing laptop based music is the hic cups that come along the way. I’ve had a small one happen each show and it’s the tracks cutting in and out which sometimes results in a sudden BSO. It’s unnerving and makes you blame PC’s. I was talking to nick from the band 26 and he uses a mac and was having similar problems with streaming audio. So there went my PC theroy. I ask him how he fixed it and he said no one believed him but he speculated it was the vibrations from the foldback and the frount of house speakers. He went about purchasing audio dampeners for his laptop and a case that had extra foam in it and he hasn’t had the problem ever since.
I must say, this is very promising and makes sense since a HD has an arm that reads the data in and ‘duh’ couldn’t that just jump about if the vibrations were strong enough. I then searched around a bit and found articles relating to that as an issue and then this one …
Q. My wife thinks the construction going on next door(building a house) can ruin her hard drive. She had to put a new harddrive in last week and blames the construction next door. Is thispossible? A. Actually, it is possible your wife is correct.If the construction is causing a lot of vibration because of heavyequipment, large trucks, pounding hammers and so forth, this could bedamaging the hard drive if she is using the computer while this isgoing on. A friend of mine once related to me a story of how his hard drive on his laptop was destroyed by riding on a train. It turns out that that the steady vibration of the train caused therocker arm of the hard drive to make pock marks all over the internaldisk platter of the hard drive which ultimately resulted in drivefailure. Imagine a needle on a record player bouncing around if you weretrying to drive across town and play an LP at the same time. Or ifyou’re of a certain age think back to a time that you might have dancedto a great song only to have the record skip as a result of you feethitting the floor too hard. Same thing applies to standard hard drives so it’s entirely possible that the construction nearby has caused the problem. I can hear the kids now. Record player? Skip? What’s that old man talking about?
Then I think, wow, that might be killing the platter on the HD too. So now I have 2 options one is to invest in some Dampening material and the other is to get an SSD drive … can’t wait to try either, skipping be gone!!
On another note, anyone a wordpress poet? Don’t know what I’m talking about? then that question is not for you
Have to mention a glowing review from the local street mag here in Australia – Time Off. Pick it up this week if you want to read it OR just click the link here [search for hunz on the page]. Thanks Time off ..
When Victims Fight
Hunz is a Brisbane musician who has been playing with demos and electronic music for 20 years. Let’s use life as a metaphor to describe his musical journey – born alongside the birth of computer music, he and the genre both strongly influenced each other as impressionable toddlers do. Next came the teenage angst years (which many of us can identify with) when Hunz’s musical life took a turn; he formed the hard rock band Beanbag and toured around the States. Then, things began got heavy and Hunz began to outgrow this emo phase, so he returned home to settle down and get back to his roots. When Victims Fight is a combination of all his influences and musical life experiences, somewhat like a midlife crisis (a point meant in a purely positive manner).
When Victims Fight is slightly uncomfortable, yet strangely moving – full of deep and dark electronic tunes that make your skin crawl. Hunz was one of the pioneers of mixing vocals with tracking and has perfected this talent with this album. He uses demos from a range of tracks and his captivating vocals give each song a tone which is distinctly his own. It seems to be a very personal album; both the style and the lyrics indicate Hunz’s self-searching and experimenting. ‘Rise’ is a highlight, tapping into both rock and techno beats and using vocal layering throughout the mystical chorus “You reap what you know”.
Influenced by Kate Bush, Teflon Tele Aviv, Bjork and the general sounds of any computer musician, this album sits somewhere between Radiohead and Aphex Twin. Hunz’s style is edgy and progressive and the album is ultimately both interesting and moving.