It’s amazing how engaging the music of Montreal’s Hobo Cubes can be with so few discernible hooks (I’m talking beats, melodies, harmonies—real traditional elements of musical substance), especially since it’s not totally ambient, and not really noise. But mastermind Francesco de Gallo reveals something uniquely musical here anyway, rooting his compositions in simple chromaticism and letting the pieces hover in palindromic stases for extended periods of time. The actual sounds on the disc are quite nice. Most synths have a self-contained buzz that radiate like layers of colorful TV static, squeezed and compressed into singular tones that are robust while also razor thin and pallid. Best of all, the music stacks these sounds across one another, from high pitches to deep swelling baritones that throb with irregular pulses while everything swirls in horizontal motion, making for a dizzyingly hypnotic state (jiving perfectly with this record’s title).
Hypnotic Infinitum overall sounds like a gathering of ghosts—every sound produced might be one: a fluttering synth, a moaning swoop, a howling whoosh, or collaborator Bernardino Femminielli‘s distant vocals on “Onde Astrali.” This record only invites the friendly ones, though. Otherworldly, grim and spooky? Absolutely, but also light and playful with whirligig effects and buoyant voices. See particularly “Axxa,” which is the one song on the album with any kind of groove whatsoever, finding these digital ghouls at some sort of ball, dancing and twirling about the chandelier and old portraits. Suffice it to say, this is without a doubt one of the strangest releases I’ve heard all year, as alienating (and really, alien) as it is irresistible.