The Danish-Swedish quartet The Hum – tenor sax player Henrik Pultz Melbye, guitarist Henrik Olsson (the Swedish one), bassist-cellist-synthesizer player Nicolai Caas Claeson and drummer Rune Lohse – insists on releasing their albums on unique formats. Its debut album was released three years ago, first on the quartet’s website in collaboration with video artist Tina Damgaard, and last year as a cassette-tape (Passive/Aggressive, 2018). The new album, simply titled «II», is released as another cassette-tape plus download option.
Despite the simple title of the album and the cryptic titles of the six pieces there is nothing simple in the music of The Hum. The sonic envelope highlights this time the raw electronics as an element that distorts the open, improvised interplay but also as a key factor the fertilizes the quartet sound. The Hum sound more eager to take risks, to employ the studio as a tool that enhances its sonic options and to blend random noises as part of its aesthetics.
The opening piece, «oz6ym», still sticks to the layered and repetitive, song-based structure of the debut album, but now charged with explosive energy of a free jazz outfit. The following «0z6ol» investigates rhythmic patterns within white noises. «W6Let» builds an enigmatic storm out of these noisy sounds, but all these pieces serve as introduction to the last, 14-minutes «OZ1FF». Here the raw, disturbing electronics are one of the voices in the restless, searching interplay of The Hum, challenged by the wild blows of Pultz Melbye, the atmospheric-distorted guitar lines of Olsson and the massive drums of Lohse. All build patiently the dramatic, emotional catharsis.
Henrik Pultz Melbye (ts), Henrik Olsson (g), Nicolai Caas Claeson (b, c, synth), Rune Lohse (dr)