HL: Takuma
No Ground Processes

HL (Hurra caine Landcrash) is an alias used by Dan Hopkins who issues music on his own noground-r label, typically in the form of petite 3-inch discs. Takuma is no exception although, in this case, the 20-minute audio CD is accompanied by a DVD containing a 10-minute video titled Fields That Speak that was also created by Hopkins .

The CD is named after Takuma Sato, a Formula One racing driver apparently renowned for “chaotic performances and spectacular mistakes.” You'd be wrong, however, to assume that the four tracks mimic the high-speed attack of a race car—quite the opposite: Hopkins' settings are uniformly lulling, even plodding, dronescapes filled with echoing Rhodes tones, ghostly guitar ambiance, noise textures, and voice micro-edits. The shuffling beat pattern that introduces the fourth song feels incongruous though its ominous synth sputter and obsessive voice-over gradually align it more naturally to the opening three.

What sounds rather sketchy on CD assumes more significance when paired with the DVD footage, despite the visuals' relatively static character. An affectionate portrait of the Somerset Levels, the peaceful locale where Hopkins grew up, Fields That Speak depicts the natural movements of the land elements (slow-moving cloud formations, tree branches, windswept fields) accompanied by music from the CD (the film can be previewed at http://www.myspace.com/landcrash).

January 2007