Hidrogenesse HidrogenesseHidrogenesse Versus The Hidden Cameras
AUSTROHÚNGARO (AH018, CD + 12”)
After traversing pop-glam with kraut affiliations on “Animalitos” (2007) and the posterior mantra appendix in the form of palimpsest-disco ( “Bestiola”, a trippy pop Frankenstein - 39 minutes of uninterrupted music in a patchwork made up of their own repertoire), Genís Segarra and Carlos Ballesteros have decided to look into a foreign song book, in this case by the Canadian band, The Hidden Cameras, for their new work. Going further than complacently producing a remix, Hidrogenesse have re-worked five of the eleven tracks included on “Origin:Orphan” (Arts & Crafts, 2009), the most recent album, keeping Joel Gibb’s vocals and mixing them with new rhythms and electronic sequences. The result is a particular exercise in a plastic, saccharine pop makeover that is more than just anecdotal. Hidden Cameras’ songs –with their tendency towards eccentric arrangements and orchestral deviation– are avoided direct, in order to transform Gibb’s vocals into subtle new synthetic gala pieces, cut with precision. Not all the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly, but due to the transformation, Gibbs voice gains a dramatic undertone that is difficult to appreciate on the original Hidden Cameras’ songs. “Kingdom Come” freezes in this instance with a cold-wave take; “In The Na” is a coral effort with a Bowie aftertaste on the first version and turns into a kind of contagious minimal synth-pop with a certain neue deutsche welle on the second one (the same happens with “He Falls To Me”), that intertwines with “Underage”, denoting afro-electro-pop tendencies. Regenerating audacity and radiant immediacy on a record that should be of interest not only to fans, but also collectors of records by both bands.
Luis M. Rguez