Phonotonal
The Hungry I

The Hungry I
The Car EP

Jon Stolber is the self-proclaimed architect behind the construction that is The Hungry I. This offering comes complete with enigmatic quotes from Baudelaire, Dewar, and Castenda emblazoned on the inlay card.

Following on from the dark tones, disturbing samples, and discordant drum loops of ‘Introduction’, the twisted and brilliant ‘Coming Up For Air’ is equally dark with reversed loops cascading through strings that could have come from a Hammer Horror film. The vocals drift between the whispers of the verse and spoken word, following a very compressed range that is almost monotonic.

The fifth track, ‘The Car’, follows with loads of samples and underwater percussion leading up to a Placebo-esque guitar part. Again the vocals are as melancholic as the lyrics but the addition of some falsetto harmonies adds a surreal and haunting edge to the sound.

A brief untitled track is followed by ‘The Idiot’, which uses stereo vocals reminiscent of David Bowie, with one ear in the higher reaches and the other keeping it low down.

‘Happy Too’ is probably a slightly misleading title for a track that features the word despair several times. The music in this track is actually more acoustic than the other tracks and is bright enough in it’s own right, although the lyrics are as downbeat as the other songs on the disk.

The final untitled track has a bizarre use of a drum loop that never hits exactly four beats, thus creating a musical minefield for the listener to get through.

It is fair to say that The Car EP isn’t exactly easy listening. You have to work at it and a fair bit of patience is required on the longer tracks. However, it is ultimately a rewarding experience. ‘Coming Up for Air’ is a modern classic and the epic ‘The Car’ also has a great deal of appeal, but I can’t imagine what mood I would have to be in to spark off that ‘I want to listen to that’ feeling.

Written by Smith on

Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.
Stuart Smith

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