Fear Up Harsh
Jeffrey Gane: percussion, voice, melodica, zither, found sounds; and
Michael Ferriss: synthesizers, piano and sound treatments.
The music of Fear Up Harsh draws on various influences from the polyrhythms of Africa to the electronic music of Germany, with a dose of theatrics drawn from their background as performers with the experimental Minus Theatre troop.
The music is improvised in the studio and their albums released to date are taken from these performances.
Their music has been included used in award-winning short films by Mark Solter : The Moon Smells Like Gunpowder, Tin Matchbox Empty and Fear Abides Nightly Glistens.
For more tracks follow the link:
Fear Up Harsh II
released September 18, 2021jeffrey gane; vocals, percussion, melodica, zither, glockenspielmichael ferriss: synthesizers, piano, effects and treatmentsgabriel and sofia: additional vocals on concentric theoriesphotography: mark solter
28 MAR 2022 // A REVIEW BY PETER-JAMES DRIES
There is a rumour that, when played simultaneously, Fear Up Harsh (II) syncs perfectly with Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control.
The rumour is a lie of course, like many rumours are, but you’d be forgiven for believing it. Both are enigmatic works of cinematic wonder, not always appreciated, understood, or even known by the unfeeling majority.
Last time I encountered half of Fear Up Harsh, I alluded to Nine Inch Nails’s Ghosts I – IV - perhaps even too much (refer to my review of Interlude in the House of Life). Convenient then that the next time I encounter Ferriss, Ghosts V – VI has been released. The comparison to these pieces - which almost feel like orphan art considering Reznor's back catalogue - is still fitting, and I could lazily fall back on it for this review. But that wouldn't do this album the justice it deserves. I will just say that if you like NIN for their soundtracks, and not because you’re a former-posing-angsty-teen, then Fear Up Harsh (II) is definitely a release you want to check out.
Like their first, Fear Up Harsh’s second outing is the soundtrack to a film that never was. It’s movements a collection of scenes. Across the run time you will feel and hear tropical psychedelics, the calls of sirens in the night, the pitter-patter of digital rain on a hollow windchime, organic growth between the concrete and a distorted crowd, a Tamagotchi stretched by the arms like a plasticine doll, all of this bookended by a swirling darkness. Frenetic moments interspersed with tranquility. It is a treatise on introspection, and at times aggression. An onslaught of heavy metal for edgy androids against the backdrop of a vibrant ocean vista.
There is the feeling of a live performance. You can almost see the ghosts in the machine. Players feeding off of each other’s energies. Microcosmic jamming, small reactions and personal tangents, that never lose sight of the macrocosmic intention and emotion of each piece. In a way it’s more structured and concise than the two hour space odyssey that was Fear Up Harsh (I), but they are very much born of the same unrestrained beast.
There is no lead single to plug here. It’s a journey, and snapshots never do the trip justice. It’s something best experienced than recounted. Put it on while you work from home, and feel the weather change.
You can find Fear Up Harsh (II) on Bandcamp and from JB HiFi. Five concentric circles out of five.
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ( 5 / 5 )
the debut cd release
Fear Up Harsh first album release is the new 23-track album (on two cds or download through Bandcamp).
Each piece on the album is excerpted from live studio sessions recorded over two years. The percussion is treated through various sound effect processors and loops are also used along with synthesizers and voice. All of the music is improvised and there is no sequencing or pre-programming which helps to create a very organic feel to the electronic sounds that blend with the acoustic percussion in poly rhythms that intersect and break apart.
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Music for the short film Fear Abides Nightly Glistens playing at the Liverpool Underground Film festival, 2022.