Trials and Tribulations by JH1.FS3

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JH1.FS3 | Trials and Tribulations
Dais Records (LP/DL)

 

Made up of Frederikke Hoffmeier (Puce Mary) and Jesse Sanes (Leibestod), the LA-based duo known as JH1.FS3 has been recording since 2015, and this is their sophomore full-length, and first on Dais. Opening with Far From Spring, something of a funereal dirge of melancholic strings and sluggishness, this comes off with an inventive style along the lines of, say, Coil. It’s crispy atmosphere is a bit hallowed in its numbing low end delivery. Warped chimes wiggle off to the sides as a woman narrates a fly on the wall perspective of an intimate sexual stalking (like a blurry diary entry) which turns itself out into industrial clamor. In some form or another Every Little Detail results in a bit of an aural collage.

There is much pacing and a bit of pomp/circumstance built-in, as comes alive in the abstract and assorted Aleppo In Headlines. Much discord, and then dreamy, slithering synths and a rubbery boing boing boing – leaving an ongoing scene. It’s a bit of an escape act. Throughout they offer this dense low-end that is mysterious and indelicate, always remaining consistent in mood. Interlude is just one of several places on the record where sound effects play a crucial role to setting the scene, but at under a minute, this is the most succinct snippet. Though there’s not much to it, rather a cosmic passageway from one place to another, I cannot help but note the best track title herein, The Earth Sticks To My Feet So I Won’t Abandon It. Expect more left turns to follow.

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An industrial lullaby.

A bloodless, whispery vocal emits like thin air over the squirming transmissions and drone imbued At The Bottom Of The Night. It may seem angelic, but if this were a haunted house this neighborhood would be approaching full tilt boogie. Pipe Talk is as if we are eavesdropping in a small factory where the mechanisms are in rotation and a barely-audible NSFW conversation is underway that has nothing to do with the workplace whatsoever. This draws parallels to a previous track, tying in an ongoing theme. The voices on Infinite Emptiness of a Heavy Heart, with echo-effects and resistant synths, are in the far flung field once popularized by the likes of Cosey Fanni Tutti. And by closing with Nice you may think this is all tied up with a bow, but think again, Trials and Tribulations is saturated in lurid secrecy. The use of gongs and frequencies only emphasizes the half-heard conversation over what could easily be steelworkers at it.

A strikingly obtuse record that demands an audience tout suite.

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