Mike McLatchey 18-September-2002 Hunk Ai - s/t

Hunk Ai were a mid 80s group of Danes operating in an avant/RIO-informed style that strangely enough reminds me a bit of the Amy Denio circle of groups such as the Danubians or (EC) Nudes. The vocalist here, however, is eccentric and loud and thus closer to the sort of abandoned vocalizations that you might find on a Charming Hostess album or, to be more obscure, a band like Gutura. The band plays with all sorts of various styles such as polkas and waltzes and such, all arranged like some sort of hallucinogenic formal dance. These forms often break down into tangents more deranged, free territory where both instrumentation and vocals ride the edge of cacophony. The tones are definitely straight from the 80s with a rather cold, funky sort of bass sound and industrial digital guitar effects. The prominence of these instruments tend to be more in the straighter improvisational parts, segments that if it wasn't for the caterwauling and bizarre effects could almost be an 80s fusion jam, played at a technically inferior level than the norm for the style. Surely, Hunk Ai were going for their own sound on their debut here and although rusty, it sounds like they have achieved it. Overall, a weird mixture of jamming, form music and avant stylings that is likely to appeal to a segment of the RIO/avant prog listenership.

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