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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ie Rai Shan - Ie Rai Shan – Remember Pageant, Providence, Mr. Sirius, and the better days of Japanese symphonic rock? Well, don't say they don't make music like that anymore — because Ie Rai Shan is proof true that they do....  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues