HTRK - WORK (WORK, WORK) LP
"HTRK were a trio; now they are a duo. Their second album, Work (work, work), is an expression of this transience brought about by the suicide of the band’s founding member and bassist, Sean Stewart. The 808 beats are eerily slow, the synth lines are achingly lonely, and the vocals are shadowed harmonies so luscious that you could swim in them. HTRK work with palpable emptiness, and although this release may seem well-timed to fit comfortably alongside recent works by Andy Stott, Deadbeat, and even indie boy du jour James Blake, it’s no trendy grab bag. I can see why one might find the sound presented here “faceless,” yet in my view, HTRK’s anonymous approach to voices and simplistic beats crafts a vast open space to get utterly immersed in; if this is an album about loss, it’s a refreshingly unsentimental one that dares to confront the frigid reality of death head-on. Curious that the press release for this record would open with a description of the music as “flat-lined,” because that sells this stuff short. Beyond that immediately visible sonic veneer is an introspective, hurting core, one that sounds to have been denied pleasure for years."
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