I first encountered Dean Hinds’ music when he was producing as Lopside. That work depending largely on doctoring together blasts of noise, static and found sound into genuinely intriguing and infectious constructs. His side project, The Post Riot Era, makes a just-about 180-degree turn from Lopside with minimal processed guitar washes and a very light hand on the electronics. On Zero Sum Living clocks in under half an hour and is built on a distinct deliberateness of sound and a sense of quite unhurried contemplation. Hinds grinds out a chord then hangs it there, allowing time to let the feel of the thing saturate the space. Mostly, that feel leans toward a melancholy that stops just short of morose, a little post-modern ennui that neither overstates nor overstays. The character of the thing comes through in Hinds’ sustain and the pauses between statements from the guitar, a kind of veiled heaviness of spirit, a well-timed set of reserved sighs. In the background, white noise washes hiss a counterpoint, often pulsing like distant, unceasing machinery. The sound on Zero Sum is thick; it is, in part, a drone-based work, but the drones birth out of bursting chords one at a time and make you wait for the next. Activity followed by inactivity. It’s captivating, and On Zero Sum Living readily melts into an endless loop that never loses its sad luster.
Available from the Post Riot Era web site.