Hrvatski: Irreovcably Overdriven Break Freakout Megamix

Sometimes, it seems, there is truth in advertising: unleashing 91 blistering fragments of cranium shattering madness, Hrvatski's forty-minute Irrevocably Overdriven Break Freakout Megamix more than lives up to its title. Captured live on July 30, 2004 at the RX Gallery in San Francisco, the recording (issued in a distinctive trigger-activated disc-release case) is the premiere release on Keith Fullerton Whitman's own Entschuldigen imprint. The set offers a representative sampling of recent electronic styles—breakcore, jungle, arcade electronica, drill'n'bass—all delivered with seething blitzkrieg force. Hrvatski eschews the prototypical DJ's preference for subtle transitions, instead opting for abrupt and explosive breaks from one section to another, the aural equivalent to channel-surfing with one ferocious blast slamming into another.

The set features material from Hrvatski's back catalogue but, frankly, even if a given passage could be identified by a listener astute enough to identify it during its fleeting appearance (many tracks last 20 or 30 seconds with only one lasting longer than a minute), chances are it's so severely mangled only the barest trace of the eviscerated original remains. While there are occasional moments of conventional musicality (in track 46, for example, a sing-song melody surfaces), the set is largely pummeling and makes last year's Schöner Flußengel sound genteel by comparison. Unlike that carefully sculpted and subtly textured album, Hrvatski's hunting different game this time out, a writhing and deranged beast whose appearance changes mercurially from one moment to the next.

April 2005