Trevor Kampmann [aka hollAnd] has just released a new set of futuristic indie-electro-pop at its best. For those unfamiliar with the hollAnd "sound," points of reference include Mark Robinson, Barcelona, The Books and UPC. His last release, 2001's highly lauded "Drums," was an upbeat affair that featured very short, concise songs. While most of the tracks clocked in at under 2 minutes, each packed enough hooks [vocally and instrumentally] to compensate for their brevity. The tracks featured on his latest are more lengthy and subdued, but no less engaging. Where "Drums" was music geared for the daytime hours, "I Steal And Do Drugs" is more nocturnal in atmosphere. Or, if you are inclined to think of music in terms of seasons, this would be a perfect soundtrack for autumn.
Case in point is the opening track, "Perfect Lineage Saved," which starts out with a moogish synth line and low-key vocals uttering "Do-do-do-do, Ooh, Ooh." Over the next 4 minutes, extra layers of sound are subtly added evoking a nighttime/autumnal feeling. As a matter of fact, 6 of the 7 tracks use this formula of slow and subtle crescendo and are essentially instrumental pieces. The remaining track, "Bloodbath," is the only one with true "vocals" and more of the hooks delivered on "Drums."
"I Steal … " comes as 2 disc set or double sided DVD/CD audio disc. The first disc/side is a DVD of 5 short films, shot by Trevor, for 5 of the 7 tracks on the second, audio disc/side. As the Darla records site says in its description, the films were "shot in Iceland and England that are part abstract art film & part music video." This release confirms my suspicion that the man behind hollAnd is a multi-talented artist who bears watching in the future.
For more information on this or other hollAnd releases, go to the Darla Records or TeenBeat Records website.
Reviewed by Alex Slawson & Herman Snell