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(Rune Grammofon)

Despite their seemingly huge critical following, I've never been able to get into Supersilent as much as some people. There's something about their almost completely austere sounds that have never invited me in fully, and while I can appreciate some of their work, much of their output leaves me scratching my head. Humcrush is the collaborative project of the drummer of Food (as well as several other groups) Thomas Strønen and Supersilent (as well as other groups) keyboardist Ståle Storløkken. A set of pieces improvised and recorded in studio, the release is a smoking piece of futuristic electro-jazz, mixing hyper electronics, bleats of analogue keyboards, and skittering live drums to great effect.

"Acrobat" opens the release and sets the tone as rolling electronics mingle with snare pops cymbal smashes before the track tiptoes with some high-end synth and ticky percussion before low-end blasts pump and the track sort of falls together into a slightly funky piece that brings together unique pieces from both organic and electronic worlds. "Sport 'N Spice" takes similar elements and hones everything to an even sharper point as quick bursts of electronics create a polyrhythm with scattered percussive shots and growling keyboards and noise create a haze over the frenetic dual.

Despite being improvised, one of the great things about the duo is that they seem to instinctively know when things should be layered and when they should allow things to breathe more. On "Dance!," more heavy low-end mixes with rubber-limbed drumming and sharp bursts of keyboards while "Spectral Rock" allows individual hits to decay on their own and each percussive and keyboard stab trails off into almost nothing before building into a track that feels like Supersilent gone horror soundtrack for a B-movie (but not in a bad way).

Overall, there's a nice mixture of both quiet (although sometimes trying) and more upbeat material on Humcrush. "Pusher" is an absolutely hammering track that blends aggressive electronics with filtered and live drums and squealing keyboards into a rather attention-hogging mix. If you've listened to Supersilent before, you'll definitely recognize the sonics of Ståle Storløkken in this mix, but he seems to be having a bit more fun here, as if their aren't as many restraints. Although not all of the tracks feel full-formed, there's still a vibrance and energy on Humcrush that's hard to deny. In forty minutes, the young duo push out some seriously unique (and sometimes downright fun) music.

Rating: 7.5