Among today’s percussionists, Nathan Hubbard is the anti-paradigm par excellence. His music is “free” in an almost absurd acceptation, but sounds composed; he uses self-made apparata and a no-input mixer to enrich his world with devastating ulcerations and triturated patterns, often accompanying the fruits of creativity with uttered syllables, desiccated rapping and indecipherable wording. To obtain different washes and contrasts, machineries, percussion and microphones are frequently re-positioned into other things and instruments (including the room, perceived by Hubbard as a single entity with the drum, both “resonant objects with an implied need for activity”). The outcome of this “activity” could well rival a natural catastrophe as far as damage to the landscape of commonplace is concerned: there’s nothing in “Blind orchid” that can be conjugated with other people’s material. Hubbard produces an incredible amount of different projections, which he renders even more unpredictable through processes of multiple re-recording and playback of pre-existing tracks, with the effect of completely displacing any notion of commonly intended “pulse”, putting us in communication with a regulated chaos that is much nearer to life’s happenings than those boxed subdivisions invented centuries ago because men needed something to clutch at to remain anchored to their retrograde conceptions. The problem is, the same still happens nowadays and we’re lucky that smart guys like Nathan cross our road trying to show what the real rhythms of the earth are. A nimble musician, whose exciting hyperactivity wakes up from the incantations of expectation and the sortileges of delusion; a gorgeous album that vibrates and quivers with intelligent ideas, great cleverness in sound placement and the joy of showing everybody that, when one meets serious artists whose main intent is “playing with their playing”, anything can happen. Unconditionally guaranteed against mental apathy, to be enjoyed loudly and repeatedly.


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