Hyponik

Review: Throwing Snow – The Death of Pragmatism (Houndstooth)

Throwing Snow channels political frustration into four antagonistic cuts for Houndstooth.

Off the back of his 2018 Loma LP, Ross Tones’ (AKA Throwing Snow) long-standing affiliation with Houndstooth continues, this time in the form of a politically-charged four-tracker.

With tensions high in the UK, Tones sends a message of disaccord in an EP set for release the day after brexit was supposed to be executed.

Opening track ‘Nought To Gain’ is built around the idea of there being nought to gain and all to lose when dramatic system modifications change landscapes as a whole. This sectionalised arrangement appears to start off in 3:4, before changing time signature seamlessly through overlapping, polyrhythmic drum-work – a technique not uncommon in Tones’ work. Eastern percussion, gritty basslines, and a full-on switch up to absolute breakbeat pressure make up the remainder of the discourse in an intense, progressive journey.

‘The Righteous Mind’ opts for a simple yet effective formula, with it’s agitated, modulating bass synth dominating the framework. Perhaps not Tones’ most forward-thinking piece, but certainly a big-room techno groover; frantic and tension-inducing, the emotion is there at its core, and the dubiety resonates.

Much more unpredictable is ‘Idealog’; aggression again at its forefront, Tones expertly interlaces scattered percussion and fierce break chops around hefty bass weight and panic-stricken vocal excerpts. Raspy, wailing saws add to the suspense, and wouldn’t sound out of place in the Sea Wall chase scene from Blade Runner 2049.

The final jibe at the UK governments myopic stroll into the cold abyss, ‘The Death of Pragmatism’, creates an otherworldly atmosphere through frenzied bleeps, before making way for a more slacken rhythmic aesthetic; with swinging hi-hats and flanged break chops altering the fabric throughout. *Head bopper klaxon*.

The Death of Pragmatism is out now on Houndstooth.

Buy it here.

Words: Sam Halligan

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