Artist: Hu Creix
Title: The Last Door
Keywords: Electronic, Trip Hop, Downtempo, Easy Listening, Electro, Pop
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
I was having this strange dream last night. In the dream, a person from my day job who I rarely ever speak with was telling me something, it was almost like a story. He was laughing, but the general mood surrounding the situation was that all of what was being said was of some critical importance. Naturally, I forgot every single bit of it, can’t even recall the general topic. That’s such the opposite of me in waking life, forgetting things that people have told me. But, this is what happens when you are jarred awake mid-dream and go back to sleep afterward. Perhaps… he was telling me that I really needed to write a review of The Last Door, by Hu Creix, which is what I’m about to do right now. I’ll have to find him in dreamland later to ask him.
This album is interesting in several regards. Each track comes with artwork with a lyric printed on it, which I will link to for each. I love that, because I’m a big fan of having a picture to look at while listening to music usually, as you may have been able to tell from the fact that I tend to write stuff for the album art on everything I review. This is probably some vestige from when I used to buy albums all the time and just lay around staring at the inserts or album while intently listening to the music. Anyway, the lyrics were also each written in one minute by the artist, who decided that each track would follow the exact same chord structure and that they would be mastered in post. This is the result:
First we have ‘At The Last Door’, which begins with a sonar-sounding percussive blast of noise echoing out into what sounds like a lobit and heavily textural atmosphere. Deep, submarine chords come in, synthetic buzzes floating, and then some lovely piano. By the time the vocals come on I’m feeling that this is some seriously beautiful music, gorgeous really. So much depth and lots of interesting frequencies batting around. Beautiful dissonance. This is definitely, for me, a pinnacle in laying on the floor late at night while listening to music type of music. Something that might strike you suddenly in the heart at the right time or place. Ultra-melancholy.
After that is ‘Addict’, and it’s like… before I’ve even put it on, with the first track having just ended, I’m thinking I’m going to be swept over by this one. The unique image for it is really nice, and works supremely with the mood of the piece. Vocal-bits, cut up and sequenced into something melodic, low bass rumbles, stabs of synths, piano, minimal and micro-electro rhythm. Very lovely, and the vocals are so great, strangely kind of reminding me of some of my old favourite wave artists from the 1980s, the closest I can think of at the moment maybe a slight bit Martin Dupont or Paul Haig or something, it’s hard to tell, which is not to say that the vocals are not unique because they certainly are. There’s a brilliant, deep-set and spacy electro vibe to this music. The way the vocals move with/against/as part of the music also almost kind of reminds me of Funkstörung.
‘The Fool’ takes us further into the strange soundscapes, sounding at first like a carnivalesque time warp, followed by choirs, a jazzy shuffling rhythm, vocals, a bit of bassy vocal mimicking upright bass. It sucks you in. The small touches of synth here and there are really well done, like flourishes that accentuate the whole. The piano at the end is really nice!
Next comes ‘Bursted Bubble’, a bass bump and vocals follow hot on its heels. Like an alien sort of dark cabaret or bossa nova groove, with — OH — saxophone upping the ante. Piano chords, strange effects… there’s something to the spoken word and absolutely wild electronic noises that is sort of beatnik, Burroughsian particularly. Downtempo depression for the collapsed economy.
‘The Perfect Slow Motion’ probably has my favourite accompanying art! It creeps in with a somber string pad, then the soft vocals come in. Piano minimally evokes a mood of desolation beyond time or insomnia. This album uses mix space very effectively. Listening, the sounds used are often very minimal and yet everything sounds so full, spacious. Very soon we hear saxophone, after my own heart! A jittery breakbeat comes in, dropping out at regular intervals as feedback and sax fills the gaps.
On ‘I Love Love’ we learn to love again with serene piano, a nice downtempo breakbeat groove, more really nice vocals and lovely love synths under modulating filters! I hear flute at one point, so nice.
Now we find ourselves ‘On The Sidewalk Of Destiny’… it was clearly our destiny to end up here. A bass hit, some drone vibes, traces of piano, reverberating vocals, lovely and subtle melodic structure. The electro groove is nice, it sounds as if it has a bit of swing to it. There are what sound like birds speaking under phaser effects! Ends with what sound like synth string chords being bent out of shape!
Then it’s ‘No Ugliness’. Dark, chasmic rumbles… a cello… the vocals ring out in the space with piano. Just before the groove came in I had been thinking about how the music had almost a Dead Can Dance feel. There’s a bit of organ that comes in as well, very nice. I really liked this track!
Afterward is the sign that we are ‘Outrageously Alive’, that we hear such wonderful music as this… saxophone goes off in my ear, followed by some backward sounds and then a gritty, heavily electronic-effected beats. Loving this track so far!!! This is probably my favourite piece of music on this album. I love the playful bassline, the vocals, the wind instrumentation, the strange electronic groove, the strange electronics generally. Perfect. This is something I wanna walk around town to. Everything about this track is on. Funky, really cool.
Then there is a track called ‘The Right Line’, which begins in a very sweet manner with string orchestration and piano. Then there’s a bit of a percussive thing that happens, explodes out and fades away. The vocals come in, and after awhile a TR-808 type electro groove plays through.
With ’12 Sights’ we hear a ride cymbal, some congas, then piano. Really enjoying the vibe of this track. The vocals are almost like a foggy choir at first, the sax is like the lifesound of a city at night. Warbling bass frequencies lay underneath, then a distorted slight break comes in. This track is really great, a mood like a soul hidden behind tinted glass reflecting neon as it passes the streets.
Next is ‘Duplicity’, in which a loud ride crash rings out, replaced by UFO frequencies and some science fiction vocals! An electroLatin groove comes on, pulled in by the tractor beam. Low bassline and subtle, distorted mid-range tones, so nice! I’m loving the resonant, filtered wah chord sound too.
‘A Mist Of Silk’ ends this fantastic album with some really nice, gritty electronic sounds that still manage a strange spaciness that is difficult to describe. Sci-fi sounds seem to echo out into that space, when a bassline emerges. Then I hear a minimal electro beat and the vocals come in.
What a trip! This was a very unusual, heartfelt and immensely enjoyable album, highly experimental and artfully put together. I dropped a lot of band/artist names in the review, but of course those can be ignored, they won’t put you too much closer to an actual description of the sounds you will hear upon clicking play. 😉 I have to suggest you get a copy of it, just because it is so good. To survive or to thrive… the starving artist lives at the behest of those for whom their work is meant to benefit. It can be found at the link below: