CD, Thisco, 2006
Electro-noise and in-your-face-breakbeat specialist Shhh… employs this self-titled album’s opening sample to assert that “it’s going to be a wild ride,” before dropping into some rough-and-dirty syncopated rhythms to reinforce that claim (“Don’t Panic”). What happens next, however, is a bit of a mystery.
The rollercoaster’s initial gravity-fueled plunge loses its momentum across two slower cuts, reining in the blossoming rush and replacing it with brooding melancholy. This sudden downshift in dynamic leaves Shhh… looking like the skinny guy in the weightlifting room. Thankfully this chump has spotters on the bench-press, and by the fourth track (“Silent Nations”) the industrialized-for-her-pleasure nu-skool mood is back in action. Hyphenated overkill and rather unwieldy moniker aside, “Shhh…” presents its listener with a somewhat convincing and certainly abrasive portrait of what thick and crunchy breakcore should strive to be.
Shhh… excels in alternating hard, driving electro and drum & bass beats with interludes of quiet, nail-biting introspection and strained atmospherics. Slow builds (“Twist & Wait”) interspersed with catchy samples (“Six Percent”), nicely executed, paranoid electro lines and sticky acid bass growls (“On a Nervous Fringe” and “The Thief”) characterize the album’s style. “Mathematics” is probably the disc’s most familiar track, having appeared on a few compilations over the past couple years, and deserves special mention if only for its riveting combination of metronomic, extended hi-hats, screaming repetition, and vocal samples reminiscent of BT’s “Fibonacci Sequence.”
Shhh… shows a good deal of potential on this release, though in the future might consider relying less on samples and dominating, noisy breaks, and instead on fine-tuning its layering of aggressive-versus-melodic sound.
— Dutton Hauhart