Proiekt Hat – XXIII

Proiekt Hat – XXIII 7” EP XN Recordings 2019

The rather illusive Proiekt Hat has returned to the Italian cult label XN Recordings and, based on the minimal presentation and title, this seems to be the third in a series on the label. When this release was announced the promo text indicated these two tracks were older recordings from the project, but the cover provides no further detail on this.

The first track Freeloader encapsulates a grey-hued sonic aesthetic with cavernous depth and thickly grinding machine oscillations and wavering bass tones. Laboured but also minimally animated it delivers a grim post-mortem atmosphere as an expectantly good track from the project. Iron Lung Cancer features on the flip side and without doubt is an extremely divergent track for the group. The first thought that went through my mind when hearing this was ‘This sounds like Proiekt Hat doing Kraftwerk’ and, as the saying goes, often first impressions are the correct one. Here archaic modular synth loops intertwine in very animated and uptempo form – albeit wonky and off kilter. Some more atonal elements sit underneath, but these very much take a back seat to the pulsing and driving forward momentum of the track. Being a sound I would have never expected from the project, it is a great track all the same.

To mention the cover, the minimal presentation mirrors the beautiful attention to detail which is characteristic of XN’s productions, while an inside image hints at strong anti-American imperialism sentiments. Although this 7” EP was far from cheap (in both cost and postage), there are no qualms about this based on the final product.

Proiekt Hat – XX

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Proiekt Hat XX MC Xn Recordings 2015

The rather enigmatic and elusive Proiekt Hat return to the cult Italian label Xn Recordings, 10 years after the ‘X’ cassette from 2005.  Without too much fanfare ‘XX’ is a continuing journey into Proiekt Hat’s world of muted industrial/ post-mortem soundscapes. Yet before getting to the content of the tape, the packaging is worthy of a mention, featuring a perfectly sized, solid aluminum case to house the chrome tape.  A collector fetishist’s delight.

The tape opens with ‘Worthless Stride’ where the listener is immediately thrown headlong into a piece of effective ‘non-movement’ and subdued mechanical stasis, where the following cut ‘Permaclock’ is more varied and focused with its wonky loops, distant bomb blasts and dive-bombing atonal synth notes.  With the first side of the tape featuring only 3 tracks, the final rather lengthy 10 minute piece is ‘Sentence Without End’. Being based on multilayered bass addled loops, queasy analogue atmospherics and depth sounder tones, the well placed samples deal with the nature of reality, illusion and truth.  Noting its paranoid infused tone the track gradually builds to a heavy cascading conclusion, resulting in a particular highlight of the tape.

For the second side it features 5 shorter tracks, which do not allow for the same full immersion that the longer compositions on side A provide.  ‘Deadwave’ and ‘Heatcycle’ display similar traits of dank and melancholically tinges loops and corrosive atmospheres, where a suitable degree of layering achieves intertwining complexity, where ‘Heatcycle’ also presents a sound which is as close as Proiekt Hat have got to emulating a classic approach to Swedish death industrial.  The next pairing of ‘Steamscatterer’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Was’ also display tonal similarities, featuring spitting static, crude loop manipulations and general synth modulations, although on the later the sound is very basic and rudimentary and simply lacks the sense of industrial analogue unease which is customary of Proiekt Hat. Rectifying this filler misstep, the last track ‘Final Broadcast’ delivers cavernous sound of distinct warbling synths and muffled/ echoes pounding structures, with pitch shifted sound layers for further disorientating effect.

For anyone who has listened to any of Poiekt Hat’s sound arsenal to date, there is a certain style and approach which is again reflected on this recording.  On this front Proiekt Hat seem to forgo any overt attempt at an evolution of the project’s sound, rather seems entirely content in exploring the dark recesses of a particular ‘post-mortem’ sonic furrow and broadly generating a discography of inertia in the process.  Clearly you will already know if Proiekt Hat’s output if you and if having not secured one of the 186 issued tapes, no doubt the search will have already begun.