I’ve been super-enjoying this, especially over the six weeks or so I’ve been sat on it while the label patiently waited for me to get my act together and review it. The second album from Hedonix sees the Sydney duo settle into a sound that’s wholly their own, and a space that they and only they occupy.
This is in contrast to their 2009 album, Order Out Of Chaos, an impressive debut albeit one which invited comparison to other artists around at the time: post-Sensient, it was difficult to think of any natively Australian act in purely objective terms.
All this changes precisely five minutes and forty-eight seconds into Eating Lotus Flowers, the opening track. It builds up with a stretchy, organic bit of dense bush-prog, and then suddenly drops in the missing ingredient that nobody ever knew was missing: Goa. I’m not talking 160-bpm Freedom From The Flesh, but a lower-speed, lower-tilt midrange line that contextualises everything in a different light.
And it’s almost as though Hedonix realises this at the same time we do. The I In The Triangle is extremely accomplished and tight, and No Thing fuses old and new to create something that sounds not unlike Etnica over Sun Control Species (when both were still good.)
There’s a similar shimmer on Dance Of Form, with playful 303s dancing around the topend and a final section that puts one in mind of Blue Planet Corp and Chi-AD: goan scales, gentle floats of melody, and a driving central line. Unlike old Goa artists, Hedonix are in no rush to blow their chai-wad on a pack of nag champa: Sakura is a lesson in laying back, as the track seems to swirl and surface of its own accord, building into a delicious final run.
The standout sunshine-chaser Hasta Luego Amigo is everything Filteria wishes he could be: solid, melodic, nostalgic but with a sense of something new and uncharted. If that sounds like a contradiction, it is — and it’s the contradiction that makes Hedonix so compelling.
The two final tracks, Analytic Overdrive and Dalek Sek, showcase the two sides of Hedonix perfectly. The former is an agitated, almost paranoid track with a scratchy obsessiveness about it; the latter uses melody and fluidity to create a headspace above a wonderfully stompy and enjoyable bottom end. Smashing.
All in all, I’m extremely impressed. There’s even more of a pressure to be generic these days than there was a decade ago, and for an act to forge for themselves such a solid and unique niche is resolutely to their credit.
Guerrilla Ontology also marks the maturation of Hedonix’s sound; off the back of this, I’ve found myself enjoying Order Out Of Chaos in a different way — it makes more sense as a starting point knowing that this is where they end up.
I’d recommend this to anyone looking for something new, or more accurately looking for something old within something new: in flecks and speckles, you will find it.