[sic] Magazine

Hurra caine Landcrash – Unanswered Questions

Film-maker Daniel Hopkins is the musician behind Hurra caine Landcrash and finds his 4th record, “Unanswered Questions”, suitably released by the relativey new Midlands-based imprint Split Femur – a label that is intent on opening new doors for electronic and experimental music. Hopkins has been busy opening doors himself. A portal, in fact, to an untapped region of other-worldly guitar experimentation sounds. “Unanswered Questions’” concepts are based around the tones and textures captured by dropping stones, shells and pebbles onto the strings and body of a guitar. The sounds extracted are then, in turn, processed in real-time using filters and other laptop functions.

A recipe for disaster, perhaps, to the most cynical of us, but despite traveling into uncharted territories, Hopkins handles the essential dynamics very well indeed. Creating a body of work that is composed of strange, disconcerting sounds as webs of clouding textures and abstract tones combine with tangles of imperfections and processed ‘scratches’ to form an occasionally tentative, oftentimes comforting ambient mist.

Requiring an extra degree of patience on the listener’s part, there is much to enjoy in this record. Starting with the drowsy bluesy drawl of “Soul” and through to the deep caverns of “Autumn Leaves”, where the incessant water drips form into little pools of sound that recall Tietchens’ recent “Eta-Menge”. Both “Blood Letting Go” and the excellent “The Ultimate Ever”, meanwhile, process sounds out of shape in such a way that they begin to resemble an old vinyl record spinning hypnotically on a ramshackle record player, creating deconstructed rhythms and percussive thumps from thin air seemingly. The former especially dabbles in the acoustic doom atmospherics that were such a feature of Svarte Greiner’s “Knive” release.

The mood is somewhat ominous throughout, as if Hopkins himself was unsure where these paths would lead. This 6-track affair, though, grows in stature, be it through the thumping bass tones of “Reflex Reaction” or the unfurling mystery of “Trip to the Moon”, which at 12-minutes long seems oddly short given its soporific qualities. “Unanswered Questions”, though, will be a worthy addition to the record collections of those who require music to challenge.