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CD Feature/ Hunz: "When Victims Fight"

img  Tobias

Pop music must surely be the most egoistic genre out there. Always written in the first person, it deals with nothing but the individual’s solipsistic fears, loathings, hopes and triumphs – quite obviously, there is nothing altruistic in a sentence like “I love you”. Browsing through the liner notes of “When Victims fight”, you suspect the same mechanism at work here: “I’ve always written my music as a means to deal with my feelings”, Hunz says and you already brace yourself for another 40 minutes of acoustic auto-therapy.

Nothing could be more wrong, though. The release of this album, after all, was in fact rather the product of continous demand from friends than of a man looking for immanent stardom. Anachronistic pleasures, I say: In times when everybody seems confident enough to have something to say to the masses, the idea that someone should be penning songs just for the joy of creating seems just as bewildering and outdated as it sounds sympathetic and encouraging.

You can hear it in the music, too. It is amazing what a liberating absence of expectations can do. The bass drums, hihats and snares on “When Victims Fight” click and cut and shred and stutter, rattlesnaking futuristically into the 21st century, but underneath the completely up-to-date digital polish, a hurt heart beats passionately for the urban solitude of the 80s. Anything but mere retro-exercises, meanwhile, the slow-grooving pieces among these ten tracks drift dreamily on pensive chime-themes and swelling string pads, riding plaintive harmonic loops to their inevitably relentless final destination.

In the pumping high-voltage sections, such as angry anthem “Beg”, Hunz draws his energy from dry, pointed basses, razorsharp percussion and frantic Rhodes-pounding. “Tiny Pixels” surges forward on the wings of a nervous, morsecoded chord cluster, while opener “Who Knows” combines an anthemic acme with harsh drum rolls and doubtful lyrics (“When I find me, they’re gonna know what my secret is”). Music and singer seem to be caught in a constant quarrel over supremacy and direction: While the latter seems to find stability and focus in the soulful warmth of ballads like “All falls down”, the latter heads for a grand finale in the melodic and thematic centre of the album on the closing duo of “Rise” and “People”.

It is neither forced experimentation nor a complex concept which holds these emotionally bipolar pieces together but the simple, yet hypnotically crafted rhythm of verse and chorus, as well as a voice capable of expressing discreet ecstasy and uncliched pain. Thanks to this unpretentious approach, “When Victimes Fight” has turned out being about sharing and communicating rather than about navle-gazing. Hunz writes about his innermost personal feelings, but he allows his listeners to recognise themselves in the process. “Amazingly, dealing with my feelings seems to resonate with people”, he writes in the continuation of the lines notes, “if you have the same response, then this album is for you.” Against all odds, there is nothing egoistic about that at all.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Hunz
Homepage: Apegenine Records

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