Review: Hydra – Your Name (Everyday Samething, Aug 1)

Your Name on a business card… I mean, the jokes write themselves. Which, I’m sure, is part of the point. And no, not a business-card 3″, but the actual regular old paper kind, printed in a small run of 25 with the album artwork on the front and a QR code on the back (Paul Owen’s doesn’t have that now does it), then scattered throughout “selected shops and bargain bins around the UK.” At a point in time when physical music is much more ritual than utility to most, Everyday Samething’s sly-eyed pseudo-soliciting is a new and distinct way to network with new listeners (I say “network” because while this method could be thought of as an enticing offer from the mysterious stranger in a low fantasy novel, it can also be something entirely banal, an ongoing hey, check this out) even when the music itself is hosted online. Similar things have certainly been done before, of course—I own IT IT’s Formal Odors in the form of a small rectangle of handmade paper embedded with broccoli seeds—but it’s far from just the distribution concept that makes Your Name so fascinating.

I know next to nothing about Hydra, but I do know that whoever’s behind it has an ear for both the conventionally sublime and the brashly abstract. “Air Force Ones” [sic] immediately has the sound of something one found by scanning a random QR code, its initial roar of digitally distorted field recordings gradually calming to accommodate new elements, namely a meandering melodic synth and high-pitched feedback blasts. “Real Power” is somehow even weirder, and reminds me of some of the self-described “deep internet” material that I most enjoy: the Infant Jesus Church’s Finally the Instant Is Here, the Memory Preservation Institute’s Had to Get This Off My Mind. I really can’t believe how much is happening in Your Name despite how short and minimal it is; among other things, there’s some truly spectacular scald-psychedelia in the last two tracks, adding C.C.C.C. fans to the long list of people who will find plenty to love in this bite-sized tour-de-force. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait until you stumble across the album’s tangible tether in the wild to listen, because Everyday Samething is generously allowing me to include the MediaFire link.

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