The Making of Him

Alternative Tentacles

The making of Hissanol is the mailing of tapes across the Atlantic, between two participants who take turns adding their tracks to the whole. Like a conversation held with a long satellite delay, the conceptual gaps have an awkward beauty. The message was said, but not explained. Consequently, the aural combinations Hissanol comes up with are built from what is heard, not what is wanted, and the results are nothing short of cathartic. One Hissanol might riff like Black Sabbath at 78, while the other might be singing about “Loggins and Messina Reunion”: “Your mama don’t dance/ and your daddy’s Russ Tamblyn/ dinner tonight is veal and ricotta.” Mind you, “Loggins and Messina Reunion” is also notable for its surf-inspired chorus. The insanely chugging “Musik” features oblivious ramblings in the foreground, from the sound of it a British professor, while a rolling rhythm section hypnotizes with a sound reminiscent of the Dog-Faced Hermans (where are they now, A.T.?).

Hissanol is the sonic equivalent of a funhouse — suddenly, the floor isn’t level anymore. It’s tricky, but not so much you lose your balance. Alternative Tentacles, P.O. Box 419092, San Francisco, CA 94141

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