Artist: Andy Hunter
Label: Nettwerk Records
Release Date: 12/6/2010
Reviewer: Joshua Hedlund
- Raining Sunshine
- On Automatic
- Dawn Vision
Let me start off by saying that I by no means feel qualified to write about this style of music. The majority of my exposure to techno/dance music can be defined by a couple Daft Punk songs and tracks like “Sandstorm” that I heard during that brief period of the last decade when DDR was the big interactive video game on the market. But Andy Hunter just released a fantastic EP. If you didn’t know, Hunter is maybe the only not-completely-underground guy doing Christian techno stuff, and at the end of last year he released some new music for the first time in several years (well, if you don’t count his features in video games or the entire score for Expelled), and it just needs to be discussed, so here I am.
“Raining Sunshine” opens up by laying an atmospheric synth foundation that gradually adds rhythms and a tinkling piano loop before kicking in the good ol’ pounding bass and continuing to build. The layers delicately weave in and out as Hunter takes his time and exhibits his craft.
After that extended intro Hunter begins to sculpt the album’s subtle theme with “On Automatic,” featuring the EP’s first lyrics, an appropriately looped “I’m static, erratic, automatic.” The synthy bass lines modulate up and down and the background sirens soar. This track features some of that repetitive whirring that, combined with the pounding bass, can make an outsider’s brain feel like it’s getting mushed, but the various layers and constantly changing atmosphere keep you engaged.
“Annihilate” feels a little more chill with its keyboard layers and drum beat loops, but it’s no less energetic. “Smash it, break it, shake it, annihilate! As we begin to turn from the climax towards the resolution, “Dawn Vision” brings back the constant bass and just has fun developing bright piano riffs and massaging them with synthy vocal layers, and it’s exciting and relaxing all at the same time.
The title track closes it out. “Heaven and earth collide / A beautiful alliance.” Hunter lets loose as the rhythms, bits, whirs, and synths drive it home. It’s almost a shame that Collide has only five tracks, but it leaves you wanting more rather than numbing your mind – and none of the tracks are skimpy either, all coming in between six and eight minutes. If you’re a fan of the genre you have no excuse not to check this out. And if you’re just someone like me who tries to appreciate a variety of music but never really got into the whole electronica thing, this well-crafted EP is the perfect introduction. Besides, you never know when you might need some tunes for that spontaneous, wholesome rave.