Published Aug 06, 2016Berlin-based duo These Hidden Hands have been relatively quiet since they self-released their debut album in 2013, reappearing just this year with the "These Moments Dismantled" single. Their sound is a feverish blend of deep, throbbing low-end rumble, nearly catatonic beats and coruscating waves of noise, yet their music is imbued with the keen sensibility of seasoned songwriters.
Vicarious Memories finds the duo of Alain Paul and Tommy Four Seven building upon their previous successes, concocting atmospheres permeated by both pain and hope. Opening track "Glasir" calls forth waves of tension immediately within its first drone-filled minutes, only to have a melodic organ passage peel away the layers of dread. The epic "SZ31X71," which was remixed by Roly Porter for a recent single, is quite possible the most punishing piece of the lot, having been steeped in noise and darkness.
On the latter half of the album, tracks such as "Angkor" and "Socotra" allow small shafts of light to break through the shroud, proving that Vicarious Memories is about more than doom and gloom. This clever balancing of emotional tone makes for an intoxicating brew worth imbibing repeatedly. (Hidden Hundred)