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Sunburned Hand of the Man Fire Escape

  • Words: Dave Segal
  • Label: Smalltown Supersound
  • XLR8R Rating: 7.5/10

Known for its primitive, anarchic improvisations, Sunburned Hand of the Man believes in allowing lots of time for its sonic mantras to trigger the desired psychedelic payoff. To that end, the Massachusetts collective has been influenced by Amon Düül II's chakra-opening, marathon communal jams and Angus MacLise's miasmic percussion fantasias; what they lack in discipline and structure they compensate for in hypnotic power. But with Fire Escape, SHOTM changed tacks, using Kieran "Four Tet" Hebden's studio and letting him mix the results. Hebden sharpened the focus, brightened the sound, and beefed up the rhythms, yet SHOTM's exploratory essence remains intact. Hebden's comparison of this music to avant-funk mavericks 23 Skidoo rings true-and that's a rare, great thing.

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