HUH – Drive the mode / Enough

Huh are an improvised guitar and drum-based duo who blast out hyper-kinetic barrages of freeform avant-skronk with incoherent shouting, usually for short, intense periods of time in front of seedy audiences of punk and underground scene deadbeats. Which is to say they are great and the very heart and soul of what makes Tokyo such a terrific city to be a music fan in. Both of the two releases they’ve put out so far this year are composed of recordings dug out of sessions dating back a year or two, each bubbling, hissing, scratching and exploding with the band’s particular brand of broken jazz made out of mistakes and feedback. In fact, it’s a testament to how completely the anarchy of their live presence and their music are one that even without the raw physicality of the performance, both recordings still fizz with such energy. Of the two, Drive the Mode is the more straight-up ferocious, working its way in what’s as close as a band like Huh ever get to a linear fashion towards a frenetic climax. Enough, meanwhile, takes a slightly more picturesque route through moments of intensely charged quiet in the track Some Possibilities, while the following twelve-minute Through the Black Sea explodes right back into the heat of a riot before detouring through some of its own dystopian backroads — contrasts pushed even further in the closing Boys, We Don’t Stand with You. It’s an exhausting but rewarding listen.

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