HiM - ñ [Hip Hip Hip - 2010]
HiM(not to be confused with the finish dark metal pop band of the same name) make a vibrate, colourful & often buoyant mixture of: bright Afro Beat textures, tight & complex yet harmonic post rock & jazz rock. Pretty & ornate oriental music, dub elements & all manner of other bright yet genre mixed & world music traits. I know this sounds like it could be a mess, but HiM really pull it all off with an sunny, harmonic yet virtuoso flair through-out all ofñ.
The project was original put together in 1995 & still is centred around Doug Scharin; a gifted drummer, percussionist & multi-instrumentalist whose worked with the likes of Activities of Dust, June of 44, Codeine, Rex, Mice Parade. This is the projects 12 album & the thing that makes it so rewarding, fresh & enjoyable is the way Scharin & his band tie together the complex genre elements & different world flavours in such a seemingly carefree, bright & joyous manner. Youfll find tight harmonic jazz rock guitar noodlings sliding down steel drum colour, though Cuban rhythms onto hints of the oriental gentleness & slight of touch. The album is primal instrumental though there is still a lot of vocal harmonics & singing going on here too; and just like the albums musical identity the vocals dart all over the world from the warming & joyous Afro vocalising, to ornate oriental, to buoyant Caribbean & beyond.
Turly ñ is a real sonic breath of fresh air thatfs playful, buoyant, yet never twee or too nicey- nicey. Itfs complex, muilt-layered, yet never showy or too ego bound. Its always approachable & charming yet always channelling & almost gravity defying in itfs mixing of different musical genres & world music colours. One of the first real surprises & joys of 2010.Roger Batty