Unwar is the solo synth-driven project of Michael Donnelly, he of Hashram Audio Concern, 6majik9, No Guru, and formerly of Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood (among many, many others!). We interviewed him very briefly last week. The track embedded below is from a new Unwar album called Activate Mantis Division and it’s among a new batch of Hashram releases which includes CD-Rs from Warden Burger, 6majik9 and Smoking Ruins.
I’d never really associated Michael Donnelly with synth music, which is something his True Dedicated Fans might scoff at (I’ve heard a bunch, but not all of his hundreds of releases). To me, and on the evidence of this track alone, Unwar acts as a more colourful and synthetic contrast to his other, more traditional ensemble-based improvisations. The sense of wandering somewhere foreign and unwelcoming still prevails though, and close listening can feel like pushing aside thick walls of foliage in order to uncover something dreadful. Similar painting; different palette, maybe?
Unwar has previously released at least one other album on Cyprus Hillsong, which can be downloaded here. Details on all the new Hashram Audio Concern CD-Rs can be found on the label’s website. We’ll endeavour to bring more in-depth coverage on each of them.