Exit Music Review SectionMusic Review Navigation Menu
Live Shet EP

Kim Hiorthoy
Live Shet EP
(Smalltown Supersound)

On the back of this live EP (recorded direct without crowd noise) by Kim Hiorthoy is an email from a fan. He is writing the Smalltown Supersound with a complaint that he has gone to see Kim Hiorthoy live and it apparently wasn't quite the experience he was hoping for since the live show was quite different than either Melke or Hei, which he'd listened to "between 50 and 100 times each."

Ah, but electronic musicians are a completely different thing live, as most who have gone to see their favorite artists can attest. Four Tet makes pretty music on his releases but rocks the freaking place during his live sets by banging beats like nobodys business and Hiorthoy works things in a somewhat similar way, rounding up the tempos and in general making everything a bit more playful. You can't blame the guys, really. Standing up on stage behind a laptop is hard enough, but having to see the audience standing absolutely still while watching you isn't exactly fun either.

That said, Live Shet is easily the most upbeat thing that Hiorthoy has done to date. Recorded in a couple different locations, the release finds him doing much of what I was talking about above. Tempos quicken, melodies are light and playful, and stuff is more bouncing in general. Simply given track numbers, the release only touches on one piece that would be familiar to those limited to the recorded work of Hiorthoy (a variation of Track 3 appeared on the aforementioned Melke). Basically, Live Shet is some seriously fun shet. Track 1 starts things out in trademark style with somewhat clicky beats and playful melodies before Track 2 completely cranks things up and layers vocal loops in a way that may have you thinking "Steve Reich" when they barrell through your head over thumping beats. Track 4 starts out with whistles and another vocal snippet before busting loose and Track 5 is all lo-fi hilarity that sounds like Dat Politics might have infected Hiorthoy with some of their oddball goodness. With 6 tracks running well over 40 minutes worth of time, this is a live EP that's definitely worth your money (regardless of whether you've seen Hiorthoy or not). With another new studio EP (Hopeness) released at the same time and supposedly a new full-length in the next 6 months, people are definitely going to hear more from Hiorthoy (and even if they don't, he's still got his graphic design gigs for Rune Grammofon and others to fall back on). Fun, fun, fun.

Rating: 7.75