Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: Hol Baumann – Human

According to, I’ve already listened to this album, which is quite terrifying considering I have no memory of doing so. This is exactly why I started this blog in the first place, damn it. This isn’t even a bad album. Not a classic by any means, but I would never be so cruel as to label it “forgettable”. I guess this is the side-effect of streaming music online. Without any physical purchase or concrete memory associated with the record, this “fire and forget” approach to music listening means you can totally lose perfectly decent albums.

Anyway, Hol Baumann is a jobbing French downtempo producer who has cropped up on many Ultimae compilations, and here gets a full album all to himself. His sound is very much defined by a combination of glitchy low-tempo breakbeats and acoustic instrumental loops, with the occasional sampled vocal thrown in. It’s all very moody and, um, post-trip-hop (hey, don’t ask me man…) and there are one or two stand-out tracks, album centrepiece Benares being a prime example, where some complicated glitch-work and infectious synth riffs add to a more energetic and posturing twist on the record’s default formula.

For the most part though, Baumann is destined to be one of life’s average musicians, an accomplished producer with great sound design and a few fancy glitch set-pieces, but someone mining a fairly well explored seam of home listening music without adding anything soul-scrapingly brilliant enough to the equation to rise above the level of supporting cast in the beautifully photographed epic of Ultimae Records.

Genre: Glitch-hop (I suppose)
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 6/10

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