Alibi V.28 No.46 • Nov 14-20, 2019 

Sonic Reducer

Rosie Hutchinson Hosie (Matron Records)

The starkly syncopated rhythm that drives the opening track of Hosie towards some sort of dissonant, cacophonous resolution much later in the work is craftily buoyed and set against an almost-counterpoint to the sometimes quiet but still forceful, meandering vocal exhortations and incantations of Hutchinson herself. It sounds like something Laurie Anderson might have come up with (They’re both violinists, after all.) except all sped up and frantic beyond the point of representing the ennui inherent in Postmodernism and instead becoming the thing itself.

With jazz and folk inflections galore, all iterated with a frenetic, authentic sense of knowing that seems on the surface to be magical but is in fact scientific, Hutchinson calls on a vast array of information and talent on this record to make it sound as if the final product were indeed guided by voices—

That is to say, Hosie is some super-serious, syncretic and subtle work. Hutchinson proves such track by track, leading the listener down a flowing body of water that is not calm yet still beatific.

All this underlying dissonance can be expressed simply as in the second track, “Banister,” a tune that seems spare and haunted with contradictions, musically and thematically. Hosie moves through folk music methodologies with bright, wistful ease (”Le soir et tous matins”) before transforming similar sonic sentiments into something vaguely Eastern European—darkly lacking harmonic resolution—on the following track, “Walking.” Contrast is a constant companion on Hutchinson’s quasi-psychedelic musical trip and here it contributes to the wide set of authoritas and gravitas possessed by the artist.

A rich yet elusive melody haunts the proceedings of “Hobo,” a tune whose breathy harmonies implore one to stop walking, but whose tone implies flight. These are more than just clever constructions; Hutchinson has an expansive sense of compositional tools and puts them to use with authentically heady results on this track, which is plain old mesmerizing.

Repetition also plays a part in the mysterious emanations that comprise Hosie and voices become capable of moving back and forth in time, out of time and yet immersed in its rhythmic framework on starry sizzlers like “Curse,” the sixth track on this 8-track effort.

The seventh track rocks like that, possessed of repeated Arabic rhythms set against a dreamily dissonant vocal track certain to recall the plangent and eerily universal lamentations of humanity. I’m not even going to talk to you in depth about the primitive and profound, the sacred and the profane heard on the final track, “White Seeds.” I want that musical experience to be wholly new for you, like it was for me.

Or something like that but very faraway. This album is so dang def that I guarantee that every kid colonist on Mars will be listening to it by 2039, brushing the ghosts of Earth away as they proceed.