“Death” – Hartebeest

3 stars (out of 5)

2

HartebeestI’ve had this track for a little while now, waiting for something else to appear that will reveal a little more about the upper case admiring duo and this much I do know; there are apparently two of them. But they have proved to be admirably elusive. Once based in London and now they live on unspecified island, allegedly, in order for them to create the very man-made sounding “Death”.

A glacial and spinning electronic synth riff carries a tune which combines a male vocal reminiscent of Kele Okereke from Bloc Party at his most reflective and a soulful aesthetic similar to that of The Beloved’s late eighties chill-house anthem “The Sun Rising”. The lyrics are also oddly uplifting given the song’s title and when the vocal reassures ‘I’ll hold you in my hand when you cross over to the other side’; it all sounds quite lovely.

Whether HARTEBEEST turn out to be artists that we already know but have taken another route musically, and this could be a real option I feel, or if they are a new band which just wants to create some old fashioned mystery surrounding their identity remains to be seen. This would be an interesting introduction to either, not quite strong enough to lead an album campaign and more than an album track, “Death” sits somewhere in between. Can the real HARTEBEEST please come forward; we are interested to hear more.