Hyena Hive – Ø (C20, Noir Sur Noir)

hyena hive

Ø is a power electronics tape from Hyena Hive, a group that kind of revels in the mystery behind their artistry; besides listing the names B. Julian and M. Reinhardt on the J-card, as well as latitude/longitude coordinates of N45° 31′ W 73° 36′, there’s little information on this cassette to let the listener know about Hyena Hive. Even the track titles are decidedly encoded with symbols; add to it the black-on-black nature of Noir Sur Noir’s releasing and you’ve got yourself secretive tape that simply need to be listened to.

The first side of the tape is a quick two-track affair; the first, “Ø”, is a short introduction to the sound with a roiling blend of screaming vocals in the background, a static shiver, and the sound of multiple electronic noises moaning at each other; it’s a nice and abrasive moment that slowly fades into “○”, the buzzing textures flitting into the background but still somewhat present while a bass line writhes in the background, consistently warbling with a record player’s slow-gaited crackle. Whale-like cries erupt as well, but Hyena Hive have set up a great warbling effect that ensnares the listener until veiled yelled vocals erupt from the dreamy drone. There’s a darkness to the track that matches Noir Sur Noir’s packaging, with everything enveloped in a thick fog; it’s one of the most effective moments of the tape, building off the other track and establishing a new sound.

The second side has one longer track, “◠”, which is a churning static shudder that surges back and forth in a wavering manner. Underneath that is a slight buzz, aided by various electronic manipulations that join in every now and again; eventually, yelled vocals accompany the cacophony in true power electronics style. It’s a track that piles on the layers, harsh noise oscillations entering late in the running time to step away from the wall-like tone first presented.

Ø is an impressive tape from Hyena Hive for sure, and it’s unfortunate that there isn’t more output from this group (if Discogs’ releases are to be believed). This release is now sold out from Noir Sur Noir, but it’s worth attempting to track it down.

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