Holy Fuck

Latin

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Starting with a barely audible whisper and building slowly to a sonic roar of gorgeous static in “1MD,” Holy Fuck’s 2010 release focuses on the fine art of turning glacial ambience into fierce grooves. Latin bumps as hard as prior albums, but now stripped down to only one drummer, Matt Schulz from Enon, the quartet has a larger tendency to break free of locked motorik rhythms and experiment with massive dynamic shifts and intense swells. This is soundtrack-primed music that does for electronic soundscaping what bands like Explosions in the Sky and Pelican did for metal. Although it’s primarily instrumental (with the occasional buried vocal), the sum of the parts are so masterfully layered that the listening experience can become spellbinding -- while, on the other hand, it makes for some nice background reading music as well. Latin plays best in its entirety, but specific tracks stand out. “Lucky” has a touch of Brian Eno circa-Zooropa flavor, with a steady bassline, a pedal-mangled guitar, and a cracking drum-beat that masks a distant, muffled, sing-along falsetto; “Stay Lit” blends Rhodes keys with glitched synth blips before crescendoing into a sea of horns and drum bashing; and "SHT MTN" takes a cowbell beat and steadily grinds it into sandpapery bits of feedback and fuzz, accented by girlish shouts through in an echo chamber. For Holy Fuck, Latin is a monumental step forward. By trimming back the choppy art-house disjointedness and quirky Casio tones, the band has successfully evolved their sound into something much more provocative, heavy duty, and rewarding.

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