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Hand That Heals/Hand That Bites
Arriving like the mysterious fully formed monoliths in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is Hand That Heals/Hand That Bites Warsaw, Poland-based artist Aleksandra Grünholz aka We Will Fail. Despite the fact this isn't her debut (that was 2014's Verstorung (MONO 074CD)), this double-barreled shotgun of an album rings with the boldest sense of arrival one could possibly imagine. With a unique sound that is neither electronic, noise, nor experimental but a unique off-cut of the three assembled into a style all her own, Grünholz's sound runs parallel to artists like Scott Walker, Autechre, Pharmakon, Daphne Oram, Pan Sonic, Grouper, Laurel Halo, Demdike Stare, Vessel, and beyond. Both dark and anxious, the seven Hand That Bites tracks are deeply rhythmic, pulsing, energetic, and brimming with the intensity of an artist who has clearly arrived at an important place. As Grünholz notes, "This part is ruder, more brutal, stronger, but at the same time more basic. The pulse, the harshness and the anxiety were really important to me. I know that some sounds are even dull. I left some parts dirty, raw. I wanted to show the strength that can seduce and mesmerize at the same time." The rhythms here have some associations with techno and club music, but for the artist this is music for listening rather than dancing. Like the work of Emptyset and other sonic explorers, techno elements embedded are merely part of the construction -- a sound reaching beyond any kind of norm. The companion eight tracks, an alternative version of the same story according to Grünholz, make up the Hand That Heals segment of the album. These tracks are lighter in touch, focused on atmosphere and experiments yet equally compelling and unique.