Track By Track: Hedra – The Quiet Mind


Recorded at a time when life was complicated "The Quiet Mind" acted as a mental release for Hedra, the Italian based newcomer who is about to release his debut album on Arroyo.

Pisa is not necessarily a city with which you would associate electronic music, nor one which you might typically associate with a bleak outlook or landscape. However, Hedra draws upon his own experiences to create a "psychic break between himself and his surroundings". The result is the delivery of a haunting seven track collection which pans through the murky depths of ambient, drone and dub. Innovative and intriguing, we caught up with Hedra who guides us through track by track…


The album starts off with Intro, scrambled beats and tweaked samples slowly morph into a distorted, chaotic crescendo. Low frequencies get more and more overwhelming, squashing the mid-range to near silence. Everything blows up into a state of sudden calm with distant gliding synthesizers and the sound of birds in the morning.


A 50Hz disturbance is the first sound appearing into Fit Memories Back together, soon to be starting a dissonant, metallic percussion ensemble. Then a simil-carillon adds to the composition, to be cut again by the initial 50Hz and to come with another arrangement. The beat ends up slowing down to half the original tempo, maintaining what sounds like a carillon that gets filtered out until its demise. The track is strongly characterized by the totally synthetic drum set.


The Quiet Mind, the main album track is characterized by an ever looping smooth chord, then a pulsating beat starts defining the tempo, some other minor percussions follow and then an high pitched distant sound, the main melodic part of the track, repeats itself until the sudden break. The bass and the drums stop at different times, while a nostalgic piano comes in, accompanied by the rumbling sound of thunders. The piano falls down in pitch until dissonance is perceived and the whole beat starts again, with some high noisy cymbals layered on top. From now on there are minor changes to the beat, different rhythms alternate on top of the kickdrum and the bass. The track starts emptying itself, the looped chord is hidden again into a low pass filter until all percussions are gone. At the very end the filter opens up again, the chord breathes for the last seconds and then releases into silence.


Next track marks the first of the two "non-melancholic" pieces in the whole album, similar to Fit Memories Back together starts off with deeply flanged ambiences, clicks and highly glitched percussions. When the track reaches the half of its duration the kick and the bass come in, introducing additional percussive disposed glitches and noises. around the 02:04 mark a chime plays a short lasting set of notes that mark the end of the track, then its all about a fade out for the drums.


The accumulation of dissonant, non-melodic loops more and more oppressive reaches its peak in Driving Crazy, characterized by the crescendo of distortions and synthetic moans, saturating to a breaking point. The track is linear, there is no complex structure, the resonating, distorted, stepping chord covers the whole duration of the piece getting louder and recalling a psychic break, a drive into insanity.


But then as we all know, after the storm, comes the calm. In Forty Winks the sound disturbance is replaced by the desire of sleep, a natural pain killer. Sleep simply sets you in the mindset that everything isn't there anymore. The energy released with Driving Crazy has left nothing but calm and soothe. The whole track stands on a background of pads and bell-like FM sounds, evolving into an ensemble of "polyrhythmic" pads, as they are disposed to not be repeating all the same. The beat is slow and acquires some details till the slow fade out into low frequencies.


Outro is the complementary of Intro, as the name suggests, but also in the composition there's a neat difference: the slow linearity of Outro compared to the chaos and the break of Intro. Even when the bass from Outro tries to emerge over the noises that just before covered silence, like a part of Driving Crazy is still pushing with his weak residual of strength. The distance between the listener and the source is virtually augmented with the use of reverbs, everything that just past, ends being confused into a cold and slow echo. I would like to remember that these are just my thoughts on The
Quiet Mind. Music should speak for itself, it has its own meaning for everyone. Different views can always coexist.

Buy the release HERE

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