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In her most personally narrative work to date, A Fossil Begins To Bray is the follow up on Dais Records for NYC producer Hiro Kone, furthering the dialogue set forth on her 2018 release, Pure Expenditure. While the statements on Pure Expenditure rallied behind a point of dangerous excess and injustice, the material on A Fossil Begins To Bray embark upon a journey of discovery and self-analysis, proposing a potential reorientation towards absence in hopes of illuminating potential futures.
In Mao’s own words, “This album considers the power of absence as neither a lack or deficit, but as a quiet, indeterminable force to cultivate in this time of looming and unrelenting techno-fascism. It asks that we take pause to consider our learned languages and actualities and to better consider how desire shapes our recollections and interpretations of this ‘existence.’” This allegory is expertly applied to every song on A Fossil Begins To Bray. Mao has established a long history of employing absence in her productions to maximum effect. With a vast assortment of diverse elements at play, no single track ever feels overly convoluted and further illustrates Hiro Kone’s skillful attention to dynamic tension and flow.
Tracks such as “Fabrication of Silence” and “Submerged Dragon” perfectly represent the power of absence, utilized in a matter to create unique amalgams of decisive, cinematic techno rhythms from the electronic void. As the melodic elements contained within A Fossil Begins To Bray begin to unravel and slowly take form, the unaware are rewarded with a driving yet tangible refrain that offers resolve in contrast to the dense, texture-laden backdrop that forms the album’s foundation. The first single, “Feed My Ancestors”, expands upon Hiro Kone’s signature take on electronic music structures. Seemingly free from the predictable contracts imposed by any one genre’s stereotypes, Hiro Kone throttles the foreboding bassline in favor of more calculated, abstract cut-ups that gracefully hold the track in place between hopeful utopia and something more ominous.
The production and detail found throughout the album shows Hiro Kone’s neverending development and dedication to principle. ‘A Fossil Begins To Bray’ is a challenge to dust off the forgotten modes of existence, expel the accepted paradigms within modern subculture and utilize the absence left behind.