G.H. - Housebound Demigod 2xLP
Label: Modern Love
Gary Howell's Housebound Demigod marks his debut recording, though the British electronic musician has a wealth of recordings over the past decade or so in collaboration with Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker (best known as half of Demdike Stare). A murky spatialization of low-end theory carries from those known quantities of Stott and Whittaker into the black-hole gravitational pull imparted by Howell. The citations of black metal and concrete techno from the press release locate the album's existential bleak aspirations and hollowed-out nihilism. This album is undeniably heavy and brooding in atmosphere with the speed and velocity of black metal nowhere to be found. Howell's tarpit BPMs instead mirror the compositional elongation and bottomed-out frequencies that Sunn O))) delivered through guitar amps and monk robes. It makes for a devastating sound, one that has been rumored to deliberately include a location where the needle will jump. Admittedly, we are reviewing this via a digital files as the vinyl is sealed, and we can't substantiate that rumor. Deconstructed drum programming and highly reductivist vocal cut-ups intersperse between Howell's controlled frequency rumblings. Housebound Demigod is a noble piece of abstract electronica, recapitulating the slow crawl techno of Raime and the signal eradication program of Kevin Drumm's isolationist works.