Exposé Online banner

Curha — I
(Chant Records CR1804CU, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-07-31

I Cover art

Curha is a name used by Curtis Hasselbring for his excursions into electronic music, and if you’re familiar with his other work, it might come as quite a surprise — a pleasant one, I assure you. While I wouldn’t call this jazz by any stretch, exactly what it should be called is quite unclear. And that’s not a bad thing at all. There are moments of introspective chamber rock for guitar, bass, percussion, and trombone maybe a little reminiscent of Cédric Vuille’s music; there are minimalistic electronic interludes with odd samples and warbly keyboards; there’s mutant surf rock with synthesizer bass and rinky-dink drum machine; there are times of shimmering ambient drone; and much more, with each track having a sonic identity of its own. The sound rarely approaches any kind of denseness, and there’s a light, playful touch to everything. Given the amount of guitar and played (as opposed to programmed) keyboards, not to mention the occasional trombone, it’s not fair to say Curha is an electronic project — it’s just a very diverse solo outing from a talented musician. “Madgit” subverts some of the tropes of electronic dance music, with a throbbing drum beat and stutter-edited samples, but instead of pulling from R&B classics for the samples, there’s a jazzy sax lick. “‘68” is another track deserving special mention, as it’s one that really demands my attention every time it comes on. It’s backed by strumming acoustic guitar and has a catchy melody featuring wordless vocals and whistling, but the thing that intrigues me is the rhythmic pattern, which is a very sly riff that could be analysed as alternating bars of 15/8 and 14/8. That’s the kind of thing my musical brain really latches onto. I imagine that the amount of work it took to assemble this music was significant and serious, but the result is just plain fun. Curha’s I is a welcome antidote to darkness, heaviness, and pompousness in music (and the world), and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Curtis Hasselbring (Curha)

More info
http://chantrecords.com/releases/curha-i

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Vanderhoof - A Blur in Time – Those who have heard of Kurdt Vanderhoof will know him as a member of the band Metal Church. I’m no fan of that band (or metal in general), but I had heard his other-band-cum-solo-project Vanderhoof...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues