Of Earth And Sun – Uncoiled


[Reviewed by stark]

How intriguingly “Uncoiled” begins. Imagine a ritual, say, Tibetan; mantric soundscapes, yet given in dark industrial, perhaps even in power electronics fashion. Already during my maiden contact with this album I knew it was going to be full of sensations. And would I be aesthetically satisfied as well? Or would “Uncoiled” prove to be just a clever post-industrial empty shell? Let’s see.

Of Earth And Sun is the alias of Matthew Hunzeker, who seems to be on the beginning of his musical path. He apparently self-released some digital material two years ago, but I think “Uncoiled” can be considered as his true official debut.

The next track, “Consuming Of The Illusory Body” turns out to be even more surprising, as dense and penetrating drones are formulated primarily – if not exclusively – from more or less the musician’s processed voice, which through several tracks entangles the listener like a snake of Saigon. It seems that the sound coming from his lungs generally forms the basis of most of the songs, which is so interesting because it puts the man in the center of his own art; all external tools are secondary, because most of all it’s himself who’s his own instrument, though of course the usual sound-generating attributes also find their place here: the label mentions bone trumpets, oscillators and drum machines.

Apparently “Uncoiled” is rather monotonous, as are the aural reflections of the Buddhist religion to which Of Earth And Sun refers in a more or less oblique way. But I’d compare Matthew Hunzeker to his namesake from the Old Continent, Mathias Grassow. Both rely on other means of expression and for all that, they create a different atmosphere; the German’s is more ethereal, basically lacking aggression and using darker tones moderately, while the American incorporates power into his mantra, comparable to that of a tornado scavenging everything in its path. In its press release Malignant mentions Theologian as a point of reference – it’s hard to disagree. “Uncoiled” is a colossus. But what connects the two (Matthew and Mathias) is the fact that both often stretch their drone matter to the limit (Hunzeker’s compositions are shorter, but if there were no gaps between them, the album would defend itself as a homogeneous monument). Their structures hide more layers that you need to bite in, so it requires you to focus. One listen is not enough to appreciate “Uncoiled”. But once you embrace Hunzeker’s idea and appreciate the intricate form he managed to create, you can start to deal with “Uncoiled” in a different way. To let yourself enter the trance and experience the music physically, not only through the mind or spirit but also through the body. Just like the spiritual music of the Far East. Because the artist offers such a possibility as well.

Maturity, not following the trends, and above all the idea for his own work far from copying what others have done, often setting the bar so high that it’s no longer possible to jump over it. You just have to appreciate these virtues of Matthew Hunzeker. Surprisingly good album, which I didn’t expect.

Of Earth And SunUncoiled
Malignant Records, TumorCD87
Digital/CD 2015


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