Review: Hurra Caine Landcrash - Unanswered Questions (2008)


artist: Hurra Caine Land­crash
release: Unanswered Ques­tions
format: CD
year of release: 2008
label: Split Femur
dur­a­tion: 39:52

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Hurra Caine Land­crash is an Eng­lish pro­ject by Daniel Hop­kins that makes relaxed, guitar-based ambi­ent with a quirky and mys­ter­i­ous touch. This is the project’s first release on Split Femur Record­ings. Hop­kins also does a lot of work as a dir­ector of videos and short films, both for other artists, pro­jects, and for him­self. You can view a selec­tion of them through the Hurra Caine Land­crash web­site.

The first three tracks on this album are based on delayed, looped and oth­er­wise treated gui­tar melod­ies. Also, Hop­kins uses unortho­dox meth­ods (pebbles, spat­ula, etc.) to eli­cit sound from the strings. The res­ult is a selec­tion of strange sound­scapes, but with a relax­ing aspect as well. “Trip to the Moon” starts out in a more con­ven­tional way, with calm ambi­ent waves lay­ing down a sound tapestry. Only at the end of the track do we get some sligtly noisy gui­tar work. “Autumn Leaves” also con­tin­ues in a calmer dir­ec­tion, twist­ing the sounds into a mel­low, glitchy whole. “The Ulti­mate Ever” con­cludes the album with a flow­ing ambi­ent piece made up of wavy gui­tar sounds, soft crack­ling like the hiss of an old record, and other effects.

The pro­ject emphas­ises dif­fer­ent ways to cre­ate an ambi­ent atmo­sphere, with the odd gui­tar play­ing often adding a per­cuss­ive touch to the basic under­ly­ing levels of sound. All the while, a con­stant mood is main­tained, one that calls for a more con­tem­plat­ive approach to listen­ing and sens­ing in gen­eral. This is per­haps best expressed in some of Hop­kins’ audi­ovisual works, where he com­bines his two tal­ents. In that respect, this album is slightly less mem­or­able than it could have been, com­bined with a visual com­pon­ent. All the same, Unanswered Ques­tions is an ori­ginal and serene ambi­ent album that is worth check­ing out.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Soul (2:37)
2. Blood Let­ting Go (5:59)
3. Reflex Reac­tion (5:37)
4. Trip to the Moon (12:22)
5. Autumn Leaves (6:27)
6. The Ulti­mate Ever (6:50)