Chicago’s Hausu Mountain has two new releases set for Sept. 22. Both are cassette/digital download offerings worth ruining your headphones with.
Nelson Bean has Impossible World ready to go under his Black Hat solo project moniker. These 13 tracks offer pure, cleanly recorded electronics. They’re beat-heavy and wholly unpredictable, making them more suitable for modern rather than nightclub dancing.
Bean has a terrific imagination. His work is firmly rooted in the present. But he also appears to be deeply conversant – and respectful – of electronic music pioneers like Morton Subotnick and Pauline Oliveros. The songs pitch and swerve like a pinball on a Saturday night.
Dave Harms owes more to 1980s industrial music and ‘90s techno than he does composers of early electronic music. He records under the name World War, a fitting handle given the intensity he churns out.
The new album is called Soundsystem. Its nine tracks work best at a punishingly high volume. Deep, often distorted beats sit front and centre alongside rough analog synth lines. There’s plenty of variety across the full album, but for the most part Harms sticks closely to his knitting.
You can find other recordings under Harms’ own name, and under the names Mincemeat and Tenspeed.
Both tapes reflect well on Hausu Mountain and the direction the label is taking. They share a progressive sensibility, even if they’re very different musically.