Morrow vs. Hajduch: Sahy Uhns’ An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Sahy Uhns: An Intolerant Disdain of UnderlingsSahy Uhns: An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings (Proximal, 10/18/11)

Sahy Uhns: “Anticipation of the Night”

[audio:|titles=Sahy Uhns: “Anticipation of the Night”]

Morrow: Sahy Uhns (pronounced “science”) is the solo moniker of electronic/hip-hop producer Carl Madison Burgin, whose debut CD comes as part of a 5″ x 5″ book with photographs of the California deserts. The deserts are said to have inspired the album, but the glitchy, beat-ridden sounds therein are more the soundtrack for robots break-dancing than cactus needles rustling in the wind.

Though at times it simply resembles another detailed IDM album, An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings stands out with highly melodic phrasings and nuanced differences in timbre. It’s a beautiful, danceable sound collage that’s good for the car or the dance floor, falling somewhere between the styles of Warp recording artists (Chris) Clark and Harmonic 313.

Hajduch: My first point of comparison was going to be Clark too. In the way the album initially shifts from ambient drift to clattering racket to riffy, squelching synthesizers, it’s a lot like Chris Clark’s Clarence Park.  But Sahy Uhns is coming from a more contemplative direction. It’s still noisy and aggressive, but An Intolerant Disdain of Underlings has a bit of melancholy peeking around the corners, such as when the field recording of “Rain Song” gives way to the interrupted melodies of “13.73 ± 0.12 Billion.”

Morrow: I’m always a sucker for melodies, so I prefer IDM/electronic artists that don’t overemphasize beats or neglect the actual notes. One of my favorite moments on the album comes right after “13.73 ± 0.12 Billion,” and that’s when the blipping 8-bit sounds of “I’mage” lead into twangy, squirming melodies that seemingly are from sequenced kora or lute samples. Then the break beats come in all huge. It’s a win all around.

Hajduch: Closing song “We Offer Our Silent Presence” opens, again, with watery ambience, running through vocal samples and chiming noises that gradually coalesce into a big, messy swell of drone/noise/gaze/melody. It’s a perfect finish to a very solid album, and it led me to start right back at the beginning twice now as I’ve been pondering what I’d write here.

Morrow: Yeah, me too — I’ve been looping it three or four times to let it all soak in. There’s a lot bubbling under the surface, so give Sahy Uhns a few listens to catch everything that’s going on.

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