In my previous writings on ONHELL, I’ve mentioned his predilection for techno. At the height of a party, he’s been known to switch from his lauded future bass to some banging acid and smash up the dance. I’m pleased to say ONHELL has further pursued his predilection and applied his production prowess to a techno-tinged release all his own. His Tarantism EP, appropriately named for a mysterious dancing hysteria that gripped Italy during the Renaissance, is an exercise in the whirling mania and paranoid insistence we love in our dance music.
ONHELL eases you into his world with “Neoteric”, an undulating beat with oddly pitched vocals tuned to pull your focus inward and downward. Another vocabulary lesson of a title, the Neoterics were ancient poets who similarly shifted their focus; from the Homeric epics of gods and heroes to intimate, personal struggles (s/o Wikipedia). This inward shift is followed by the hysteria-causing title track itself, “Tarantism”, which employs tremulous atmospherics and stuttering drips to induce a spastic loss of motor control. With its galloping kicks and rhythmic vocal samples, “Tarantism” wouldn’t feel out of place on Jimmy Edgar‘s elite ULTRAMAJIC imprint. ONHELL closes the EP with “Lazer”, a balance between the first two tracks and perhaps the most complete expression of ONHELL’s abilities as an artist here. Filled with the intricate, plinking percussion he uses in all his work, “Lazer” rattles and moans as it sinks into some sort of cosmic tar pit. A dark, wailing drone calls to you from beneath this unbalanced beat, ensuring your dancing-mania is fully exorcised before leaving you catatonic but kinetically cleansed.
The Tarantism EP is available for free via his Bandcamp. Download and enjoy, and hopefully we can persuade ONHELL to continue exploring these fertile tempos in the future.