Hummingbird – Thinking Outside
The artist Hummingbird has recently put together a mix selection for Fluid Radio entitled ‘Thinking Outside’. The mix comes in perfect time as a ‘heads up’ to let you know about the new remix album that is just around the corner on Fluid Audio’s new sub-label. Full info coming very soon…
The recent release on Fluid Audio of Hummingbird’s “Our Fearful Symmetry” not only resulted in the lightning sell out of its limited copy run, but also produced a flurry of speculation on the web over the identity of the artist responsible for it. For those unlucky enough to have missed out on the initial run (and also for those looking for clues as to who the artist may in fact be), news that the album has been remixed and is soon to be released on Fluid Audio’s new sub-label will be both a blessing and curse.
A blessing, as those who didn’t get to own their own copy will now have the opportunity to hear for themselves what all the fuss was about.
A curse, as the subtle re-workings offer up further hints but no clear answers as to who it could have been.
You could speculate endlessly.
What is not speculative is the quality on offer in the eight tracks, an emphasis on timbre, tone, implied melody and hints at glitch drones. The live instrumentation is still present in places, but in most cases the “mood” of the piece has been drawn out alone, and presented in a complimentary but distinctly different light. Hints of additional instrumentation creep in at points and slip away again – almost impossible to tell if they were even there to begin with, or if they were present on the original. It feels like a rare privilege to hear, a life’s work lost and then found at a dusty antique store decades later.
It has been remarked that our culture USED to be a reflective one. If someone needed to make an important decision, they would take time over it. Someone from a previous generation would climb a mountain and take in the surroundings whilst mulling it over. Pause. Consider. Most now are made in hushed whispers over linoleum floors in emergency wards, or impulsive decisions in banks or real estate agencies. Tracks like “Sketch of the Mythology (Interval at the Station Mix)” seem to capture the melancholy fact that the luxury of reflection is no longer available to us, like overhearing an intimate and private conversation in a crowded world. The collection has a timeless quality to it, despite occasional electronic tones and high quality modern production.
What others have said about the original “Our Fearful Symmetry” -
“The listener is never overwhelmed, and instead, is given space to breathe and absorb, before returning to soak in the ever-expanding sea of sounds.” – Michael Vitrano
“Our Fearful Symmetry is a deeply nostalgic disc, filled with echoes, static and decay, laden with seemingly-ancient instrumentation and far-away sounds. Myriad crackles, melodic snippets and field recordings are hidden in the mix like dust between the cracks of an old floorboard. Snippets of conversation, music boxes, tape loops and light drones pop up their heads like little prairie dogs. The cumulative effect of listening to such a release is that of encountering something elusive, an unidentified sound in the night or a whispering, receding memory. 8/10” – Richard Allen – thesilentballet.com
“The material is by turns portentous, brooding, pensive, soothing, turbulent, and unsettling, not to mention atmospheric in the extreme, with all sounds, whether they’re piano, electronics, speaking voices, static, white noise, nature-based field recordings, or strings, steeped in reverb and rendered faded by the imagined passage of time.” – textura.org
“Hummingbird’s marriage of restrained classicism and contemporary electronic atmospheric manipulation means that “Our Fearful Symmetry” is very much a record of the moment – the ambient/electro-acoustic scene abounds with artists mining the same vein of inspiration – however, while many acts aspire to the creation of reminiscence-evoking beauty it is an uncommon achievement. The artist behind Hummingbird accomplishes a startling ubiquity of grace throughout this album and though it is a debut outing for the project, the strength of the material and its connotative power betray the unmistakable hand of a master at work.” – John McCaffrey
“Far from representing another predictable foray into the realms of Modern Classical, “Our Fearful Symmetry”, after all, combines the minimal melodicism and chambermusical settings of the genre with deep structures, dense textures and dreamy tonalities, intriguingly hinting at Drones, Ambient and Micronoise. It is a combination which clearly extends beyond tentative previous engagements of the genre with beats and Electronica and yet feels entirely natural and organic.” – tokafi.com
“A sun drenched day in a slightly underpopulated city suddenly becomes akin to being the last man on Earth. The skittish found sounds that fall into place behind the musical arrangements are the aural equivalent of something playing across the edge of your field of vision. Intriguing stuff indeed.” Adrian Carter
Danny Paul Grody – Night Blooms
Myrmyr – Silver Rooster
Pawn – The book that is never read
Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek – Waltz (a lonely crowd)
Pjusk – Byge
On!Air!Library! – Bread
Valet – Fire
Alexandre Navarro – Mystical Lane
Solo Andata – Look for Me here (Giuseppe Ielasi remix)
Cheihei Hatakeyama – Landscape on a hill
Ian Hawgood – A Film by The Remote Viewer
Tape – Mystery Mutiny
Tape – Moth Wings (Edit)
Hummingbird – The Little Green Box (Landscape Mix)
Konntinent – White Horse Falls
Hummingbird – Seeds of Deception (This Life Mix)