“The recordings you are about to experience have no known origin.”-Outpost 31 Studios
One of the most interesting albums I heard in 2018 was Harglow’s debut album. An album of electronic music that was equal parts dark industrial and Satanic incantations. It was an album I deep dived into heavily, until my wife found me in the front yard at 2am in a Midwest winter staring into the oppressively dark sky. “What are you doing?” she said. I simply whispered “Architecture for the night.”
The album was sealed away in a dark portion of unfinished basement, never to be listened to again. But then just last week a package arrived on my front porch. In this box was a clear evidence package which contained inside of it a vinyl LP. RE(HEXED + DACTED) by, you guessed it, Harglow.
A mysterious slice of cursed wax all the way from OKC seemingly arrived out of thin air. My wife was gone last week, so I thought I should at least give the record a spin before she returned from her vacation. What would be the harm in it? I’m different now. The darkness doesn’t beckon to me like it used to, after all.
Harglow’s RE(HEXED + DACTED) is a remix album. Some pretty incredible artists and sonic wizards took those jagged electro incantations and gave them a unique spin. Artists like Graham Reznick, Espectrostatic(Alex Cuervo), Metavari, Makeup and Vanity Set, Phantoms Vs Fire, Antoni Maiovvi, Timothy Fife, Foggi, and Umberto all dip their toes into the darkness and let the curse guide them through these tracks. The results feel new, electric, and unnatural in the best way possible.
Espectrostatic turn Harglow’s screeching death knell into a slow motion grind, spinning their OKC death jam into a West Texas desert nightmare. Graham Reznick adds his own touches, transforming Harglow’s nightmare strut into an almost kinetic, possessed Devo jam. The fantastic Phantoms VS Fire adds his beautiful desolation to Harglow’s Great Plains State grit.
There’s the one-two punch of Makeup and Vanity Set and Metavari that adds a touch of late night electro exploitation and ethereal conceptualism that goes far to prove why these two are at the top of their class. Both seem to transform Harglow’s dark noise into something so far removed yet still so connected to the DNA of the source material. It’s pretty amazing. Foggi stays true to the late night excursions Harglow created, building upon the darkness and turning it into a slinky, sickly sway.
Antoni Maiovvi adds his sweaty, pulsating Giallo Disco heartbeat to the proceedings, turning the original into an all out dance floor banger. Timothy Fife creates a cavernous sonic castle, giving Harglow’s wet leather, humid musical wasteland a touch of Berlin School class. Umberto closes out this collection with a nearly 10-minute sound excursion that locks into a hard strut. A bonafide robo-groove that seems to erase both space and time, leaving us to contemplate the hex.
There’s a beauty in reinvention. What these amazing artists and sonic wizards have done is take Harglow’s dark, chaotic sound and reformed it into something quite different, but equally engaging and intense. They encased those original tracks in a musical Chrysalis, letting the song bloom into something new; something fevered, exotic, and wearing new skin.
As I stand in the humid Midwest air, once again staring into a dark, oppressive sky at 2am, I see the meaning of the Hex. It’s right there, looking at me from the void with red, blinking eyes. “Architecture for the night” I think to myself. “This is the way” I murmur making my way to the highway a mere four miles away, barefoot and newly born from a Chrysalis of my own making. I have Harglow to thank. You will, too.
8.6 out of 10
Harglow’s ‘RE(HEXED + DACTED)’ is available now via Outpost 31 Studios. Buy it here.