steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

White Horses in Technicolor Everywhere

"Sunna" CD

Aagoo / Swill Children

Genre: soaring synths breed swooping songs

Santa Clarita, CA

April 2010

Lovely amplified organ chords, keyboard flourishes, and dreamy vocals carry Cory Hanson's grandiose Sunna through nine segments of ethereal wonder. It's a very now journey comprised of shimmering synthesizer shards, ample reverb-n-feedback, and swooping falsetto melodies, boosted frequently by electronic rhythms -- the sort of mesmeric fare which gets lovingly absorbed by Animal Collective and Fuck Buttons obsessives. Pigeonholing aside, however, W-H-I-T-E's debut is a largely successful experiment in electronic art-pop, harnessed by a strong set of atmospheric songs. One of my favourite compositions happens to the the last track proper, a dramatic, Radiohead-influenced moaner led by fuzzy keyboard chords and haunted, desperate vocals -- it's somehow both lifting and chilling. Even better is "Take Me Out To Dinner," which wraps swirling layers of melody around a plodding beat and an IDM cytoskeleton. However, a few semi-duds inhabit Sunna's folds, as on irritatingly busy "Witches Vibrate" (perhaps it kills live) and serviceable yet flat "Go On With The Gong", but one must cut Hanson some slack; this record is, after all, his debut album. And for the most part, it's a compelling work of art, though Hanson hasn't quiet reached that level that keeps listeners fully engaged.

Note: The CD version comes with six (!) hidden tracks. Expect, in order, atmospheric synth reverb, experimental feedback goofing, cacophonous freaking-out, a pretty little sad song, experimental feedback goofing, and noisy experimental feedback goofing. I'd say, at best, two out of six are worth a listen.

W-H-I-T-E's myspace


Michael Tau

[Vitals: 9 tracks + 6 hidden, distributed by the label, released 2010]