25 January 2013

Hacker Farm - UHF

You know I know Hacker Farm; they are comrades without arms; part of the body... you know I'll like UHF, see things reflected in its mirrors... you know I'll get it because it is part of where I am and these fine people are part of an accidental conglomerate (IX Tab is subsumed by Hacker Farm, which is now not just Hacker Farm and, post-Wire interview, indivisible from the hole).

I also know that Hacker Farm aren't for everyone. To paraphrase Lautreamont: not everyone can savour this bitter fruit with impunity.

And that's the point.

Which is why I feel the need to take an issue with Rob Young's review of UHF in the recent edition of The Wire which, perhaps accidentally, savagely misses the oppositional stance of Hacker Farm even when, more or less, mentioning it as part of his review.

I think he likes it but that's not relevant. In some ways it would be better to dislike it - UHF courts dislike, expects it - because that final passage, where Rob sort of offers advice to the boys, comes across as not merely patronising but also as a political assault, an attempt to codify what Hacker Farm do in terms of the accepted. Now I realise that suggesting the (great) work of Raime and Emptyset might somehow be regarded as the status quo is absurd; they are clearly plowing their own furrow but still, in those slim lines that suggest Hacker Farm adopt the 'abyssal dynamics' of those two it's difficult not to read 'If Hacker Farm weren't Hacker Farm then people could embrace them more easily, some space could help us digest; there's just too much information...'

Which misses the point because that is what they are about. I'd imagine this recording, if anything, is cleaner and more spatial than they'd originally intended; it's likely to get more noisy (noise is information, information is noise) in the future, not less... they are really not going to adopt those dynamics because they are, at least in part, about opposing those dynamics (I know for a fact that they are fans of Raime but that doesn't mean they are the same as Raime, or can be slotted in beside them neatly).

I don't know... I'm ranting; it was a throwaway comment, it means nothing; they probably don't care but I do because it seems like a generalising move, an attempt to reconfigure something from here to there; they live in different worlds to lots of the music they can ostensibly be compared to (they live in different worlds to my music and I've seen the same places they've seen, our timelines are more or less homogenous).

For what it's worth, there's no reason anyone should get Hacker Farm - I'm sort of amazed at the response to their work (not as much as I'm amazed as the response to mine!) - I'm not even sure I get them most of the time (UHF can be exhaustingly dense; I was listening to it in the snow the other day and it felt like all the snow at once) but it does stand alone, it is singular, it does not have the dynamics you'd expect (and sometimes it doesn't have the dynamics you need).


Rant over.

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