Olekranon: Danaus

olek_danaOlekranon is back to douse his listeners in his well-practiced blend of raw-edged industrial, aggressive noise and meaty post-rock. This is Danaus, and it would probably like to hurt you. Or hypnotize you. Or a bit of both. Ryan Huber handles both aspects well. When he gets his aggro on and lays in with beats that feel like they’re being meted out via machine press, Danaus takes on a huge, bellicose aspect. It snarls and spits and vents–walk into the beating that is “Bellow,” for example. Metallic clatter, thick distortion, and beats that literally punch. Throw in a vocal drop that gets crushed underfoot and you’ve got a signature Olekranon piece. When he piles on hissing drones in massive layers, the resultant cliff-face of sound becomes hypnotic, a rough-hewn susurrus that forcibly lulls you into a trance space. I like “Severed” for this; it shows how Huber can effect that dronescape and still work in texture and punch. A variation on this theme comes again on the next track, “Marionette,” with the additional allure of being built on a pretty straightforward post-rock frame. A follow-along beat, an identifiable melody via chords, and that big hissing brain-shower. “Libertine,” which closes the album, is a perfect blend of white-noise drone and a steady, almost subtle beat. A subliminal groove, if you will. As the album moves along, the line between beat(ings) and mesmerizing washes blurs and shifts so that regardless of where you are, you are engulfed in Huber’s soundpool and taken out of your normal flow.

Olekranon’s work is not the easiest to get into, but I find that I’ve developed a taste for it. I appreciate the restrained aggression, the way there’s always a path through the sound even at its densest, and the carefully paced-out shifts of tone. It’s always worth giving a close listen because Huber is not a noise-for-noise’s-sake artist. Get down into the details and take in what Danaus is offering. The effort is worth it.

Available at Bandcamp.

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