[i]”I wanted to take something concave and ugly and twist it into something beautiful.”[/i]
The Hungry I is the new alias of former Kim frontman- Jon Stolber, who quit Southampton and moved to Edinburgh intent on “crafting a more original and fractured personal sound”. The opening track of his recent “The Car EP” is a moody slice of DJ Shadow-on-downers dub-hop which sets the rather downbeat tone for the EP.
What follows are four claustrophobic alt. gems, broken up by brief, dissonant sonic shards. ‘Coming Up For Air’ is a paean to pain, if ever there was one. The track literally overflows with ideas. Whereas this kind of non-stop invention may well prove wearing over the course of an album, it works very well in the context of an EP. The isolation-in-a-crowd vibe continues throughout the EP– all elliptical lyrics and ravelled textures. The kind of songs that Radiohead should have filled Kid A with. In fact, if you can, imagine an alternative reality in which Radiohead are signed to Ninja Tune … or more specifically, imagine a more cohesive version of Ninja Tune’s own Fog then you are close to approximating the sound of “The Car EP”.
Title track ‘The Car’ is consumed by this melting happiness: “when you really think of it, all the good will seem shit” and only ‘Happy Too’ lightens the tone – until you hear its floaty “Despair” refrain, that is. All of the tracks are shot through with the same traces of English Voodoo that informed the work of artists like Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead.
Where he will go next is anyone’s guess, but this is one ‘car’ journey you’ll want to join him for. (Sorry).