Gart & Seekatze is a new name to me, but I'd heard alot about this solo performer before ever hearing his music. So there was a bit of hype surrounding this beautifully packaged CD-R when it arrived. Generally, that tends to do more harm than good. Gart & Seekatze, however, lull you into such a state of transient bliss that any thoughts or cares from the outside world will soon be forgotten in a smoky haze.
"Humming Songs" is five tracks long, clocking in at just under 38 minutes. It's the perfect length for this release. When you look at the track titles, you'll have a pretty good idea what's in store. Opening with "2notes1drone (2nd)," G&S pull out the sonic meditations early. This track is exactly what it says it is: two notes on top of one, solemn drone. As the guitar notes plod along slowly, you are whisked away on a silver cloud. These eight minutes of ethereal bliss will have you completely enthralled.
The thing about "Humming Songs" is that there isn't a great deal of variation. This is not a complaint by any means; G&S use this to great effect, constructing a singular vision out of massive scraps. The only track that isn't called "2notes1drone" (there's four of those) is the final piece on this beautiful album, "Der Kasten, Die See, Der Klang." This is my favorite piece on the album. It's modus operandi is similar to the rest of the album in that it's constructed from a simple, hypnotic drone and sparse notes, this time hammered out on a piano. The contrast of the piano and the electronic howl is mystical. Such a dichotomy put into this context, and especially as the closing track to an album that has already put you in a trance, is powerful. As G&S hammers out the discordant piano notes, you feel the tension in the strings. It's as if the entire world could implode at any minute. It's a massive weight to bear, but good god is it fantastic.
I am happy to report that Gart & Seekatze easily lived up to the expectations I'd placed on the project. "Humming Songs" is definitely one of the best drone records I've heard this year. I can't think of a better way to spend a rainy afternoon, daydreaming the hours away... 8/10 -- Brad Rose (28 June, 2006)